Almost one in four people of working age in County Longford classified themselves as unemployed in last year’s Census.
According to figures just released from Census 2011, 4,562 people in Longford in April 2011 said they were unemployed. This figure equates to an unemployment rate for the county of 24.7 percent, higher than the national rate of 19 percent – or 424,843 persons.
While unemployment rose from the last Census in 2006, so too did the number of people in the labour force. There were 18, 433 people in the labour force in Longford in April 2011, an increase of 2,033, or 12.4 percent since April 2006.
A large difference remains between the participation rate of men and women in the workforce. In Longford the male participation rate was 69.5 percent while the female participation rate was 53.5 percent. Overall, the labour force participation rate in Longford was 61.5 percent compared to 69.4 percent for the State overall.
The release of information gathered from last year’s census is the latest in a series of Census 2011 results covering the socio-economic results from the census, and shows that the number of students in County Longford increased by 19.3 percent.
Worryingly for these students in an increasingly web-orientated world, there is a huge chasm between the percentage of private households with a broadband connection in Longford and the national average.
Just 58. 2 percent of people in urban areas had a broadband connection, some way off the 70.4 percent average for the State. 5,090 people surveyed said they had no internet access at all in their homes while for those that did a worrying 1, 554 said they had no access to broadband.
A new question on general health was introduced for the first time in Census 2011 and asked respondents to select one of five categories ranging from very good to very bad. In County Longford 86.4 percent of people rated their health as good or very good while 1.8 percent rated their health as bad or very bad, higher than the Leinster or national average.
Perhaps as a result, the percentage of carers in Longford was higher than the national average at 4.3 percent. The total number of carers aged 15 and over increased nationally by 21,967 from 160,917 to 182,884.
In addition there were 4,228 carers under the age of 15 bringing the total number of carers to 187,112, or 4.1 per cent of the population.