Fine Gael TD for Meath West and Chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Damien English, has today (Thursday) welcomed figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) which show that employment has risen by 1.8% in the last year.
Unemployment has dropped from a peak of 15.1% in February 2012 when the Action Plan for Jobs was launched to 13.7% now.
“These figures show that the Government’s plan to create favourable conditions for employment is working and that both home grown businesses and multinationals are putting their confidence in the Irish economy in the most meaningful way possible – by creating jobs.
“We got an insight yesterday with the comments of Brian Cowen into how the last government sleepwalked Ireland off an economic cliff. The loss of 250,000 private sector jobs in three short years is Fianna Fáil’s most damaging legacy.
“This Government made job creation its number one priority from day one, simply because it is vital to Ireland’s economic recovery. The Action Plan for Jobs is an integral part of our plan to build a new economy. We are very consciously moving away from the old, failed economy reliant on property, banking and debt to a new, sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation.
“Today’s figures reflect the progress that is being made in moving towards this new economy. This progress includes:
• Increase of more than 3,000 jobs per month in the private sector over the past year;
• Increase of 30,000 in the number of people in employment since we launched and commenced implementing the Action Plan for Jobs in February 2012;
• The IDA has had two record years, with a net increase of 12,500 in employment in supported companies in 2011 and 2012. Enterprise Ireland had a record year in 2012, with a net increase of
over 3,000 in supported companies in 2012;
• Exports have hit their highest ever levels, with 2012 figures 16% above the pre-crisis high.
“Many people are not yet feeling these changes and we have a long way to go, but it is encouraging to see that things are going in the right direction. The challenge now is to accelerate the transition by continuing to implement our plan – in the banking system, in the public finances and through the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work.