The Live Register figures for December 2013, which were published today (Wednesday, 8th January), show a seasonally adjusted monthly fall of 3,300 people signing on but also indicate continued difficulties for women seeking employment, according to SIPTU Economist, Marie Sherlock. On a seasonally adjusted basis the Live Register showed a monthly decrease of 2,400 males in December 2013, while females decreased by 900 over the same period. The number of long-term claimants on the Live Register in December 2013 was 179,621.  The number of male long-term claimants decreased by 8,741 (-6.6%) in the year to December 2013, while females increased by 1,218 (+2.2).Marie Sherlock said: “Recent months have seen a consistent decline in the numbers of people signing on and the numbers of part time workers seeking additional work. There has also been a significant increase in the numbers in full time employment over 2013. However, it is remains unclear just how many of those coming off the Live Register are going into employment, training or are emigrating."Today’s figures also indicate the continuance of a worrying trend. Throughout 2012 and 2013, we have seen that men have been leaving the Live Register in considerably greater numbers than women.”She added: “While the general decrease in Live Register numbers is a positive, focus must remain on ensuring the quality of training and employment which is being taken up is of a decent standard. A major step in this direction would be the introduction of an expanded and improved national apprenticeship scheme, as proposed by SIPTU to the Apprenticeship Review Group established by the Department of Education and Skills.”