Almost 17,000 more workers joined the register in March, bringing the total figure to 371,000.
These CSO figures show that 20,000 people signed on the Live Register in March bringing the seasonally adjusted total to 372,800 – a record high.
The CSO says that in the year to March, there was an unadjusted increase of 173,279 on the Live Register – up 87.5% – which is also the biggest increase since records began in 1965. The figures also reveal that the unemployment rate rose to 11% last month from 10.4% in February. More men than women joined the Live Register last month, with 13,600 males and 6,000 females signing on.
Mr Cowen’s prediction that total number on the register could reach 450,000 by the end of the year looks a bit conservative now.