Claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and having previously been on a Community Employment (CE) scheme are among eight key characteristics associated with the risk of long-term unemployment, according to new research.

The study was commissioned by the Department of Social Protection and was carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

It updates the statistical profiling model used by the department to identify those jobseekers at risk of becoming long-term unemployed.

Other characteristics associated with the risk of long-term unemployment in 2018 were not being recently employed, having low levels of educational attainment, poor health and having a history of long-term unemployment.

Not having access to one's own transport and being older were also identified as factors linked to long-term unemployment.

The study also examined whether the characteristics have changed since the research model was originally developed in 2006.

It found that the pattern of exit from unemployment in 2018 was similar to that in 2006, despite the fact that 12 years separate the two periods and a global recession occurred in between.

The characteristics associated with long-term unemployment risk in 2018 and in 2006 were also found to be similar.

The likelihood of leaving unemployment before 12 months was found to decline with age, literacy problems, the presence of children, a previous spell of long-term unemployment and being casually employed.

Compared to the situation in 2006, however, older workers were found to be much less likely to leave the Live Register before 12 months in 2018.

Location, in terms of whether a jobseeker lived in a rural area, village, town or city, was found to be a less important predictor in 2018.

A jobseeker's willingness to move for a job was found to be a very important factor for men’s unemployment duration in 2006, but this was no longer the case in 2018.

Marital status was an important factor for women in determining their unemployment duration in 2006 but this was no longer the situation in 2018.

Having access to one's own transport was important for women in 2018 but not in 2006.

Seamus McGuinness, one of the report's authors, said the study updates an important tool that helps improve the accuracy and efficiency of jobseeker supports.

"It also provides important information to policy makers regarding how the factors influencing jobseekers' risk of falling into long-term unemployment have changed over time," Mr McGuinness said.