The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said, Wednesday (5th February) that while the latest jobless figures included some good news, they also revealed some worrying trends and signalled the urgent need to grow demand in the domestic economy. Congress Assistant General Secretary, Sallyanne Kinahan, said that while attention had focused on the welcome annual decrease revealed in the CSO figures, “it should also be noted that the monthly figures showed an increase of 4,000. That trend is in the opposite direction and is a source of concern. “We should also bear in mind that the figures do not include the 83,000 people currently on activation schemes. Out of sight, cannot mean out of mind and the goal has to be to move people back into the workforce quickly.” “Paradoxically, we also see that there were just 2,600 places on activation schemes taken up since December, indicating that there is insufficient capacity to deal with demand for places. We know this first hand from our national network of Congress Centres, which run training and activation programmes,” Kinahan said. “The figures show there are some 62,000 people under 25 years of age on the register – people whose benefit was drastically cut in the most recent budget, in effect penalising them for not getting work that is just not there, while leading to increased hardship and a further reduction in domestic demand. “We seem to keep making the same mistakes,” Kinahan concluded.