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Irish Unemployment Tops 14%, Hits 17-Year High

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DUBLIN (AP) — Unemployment in Ireland has topped 14% for the first time since 1994, highlighting the dire financial challenges facing the new government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

A Central Statistics Office report on Tuesday has raised Ireland's previous unemployment calculations over several months. Analysts are blaming exceptionally harsh pre-Christmas weather for the surprisingly poor figures and warn further job losses are inevitable this year.

The report says average October-December unemployment reached 14.1% versus 13.9% in the previous quarter. Its seasonally adjusted figures are worse, measuring unemployment at a 17-year high of 14.8% in December.

Previous, less detailed reports had said unemployment peaked last year at 13.6%.