Unemployment at lowest level since 2005

-   Joe Carey TD

Fine Gael Clare TD and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection has highlighted that figures published today (Wednesday) by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicate the monthly unemployment rate for May 2019 stands at 4.4%, the lowest rate since 2005.

“Today’s positive news from the CSO shows the monthly unemployment rate down to 4.4%, the lowest rate since 2005.

“This is down from 4.6% in April 2019 and down from 5.9% in May 2018. The number of persons unemployed was 108,200 in May 2019, down from 111,300 when compared to the April 2019 figure and a decrease of 33,200 when compared to May 2018.

“This is further positive news following on from the publication of the Labour Force Survey, Ireland’s key source of employment data, last month which indicated that:

  • There were 2,316,100 people employed in Ireland in the first quarter of 2019, a 3.6% increase on the same quarter of 2018. This consistent growth is reflective of the success of the Government’s annual Action Plans for Jobs, and this momentum is now carried on through the Future Jobs Ireland framework.
  • 221,100 new jobs created since the start of 2016, we have well exceeded our target of 200,000 new jobs by 2020. Furthermore, our regional goal of 135,000 jobs has also been surpassed with 150,000 jobs created outside Dublin as of Q1 2019. On average, over 1,500 new jobs were created every week in Ireland over the last 12 months.

“During Fianna Fáil’s last term in Government, 330,000 jobs were lost, emigration soared and our economy shrunk by 8% between 2007 and 2010.

“At a time of strong economic growth and almost full employment, it would be easy to become complacent – something that happened during the boom years. Fine Gael is determined to make sure that this doesn’t happen again however. That is why we are preparing now for tomorrow’s world.

“Future Jobs Ireland 2019 is the first in a series of annual reports as part of this new medium-term framework. The commitments in the report will support continued employment growth across Ireland and further reductions in unemployment. Among other issues, it addresses challenges to participation in the labour force. Actions include developing and implementing tailored activation and training supports and generating attractive employment opportunities such as smart working arrangements.

“We are also delivering ‘Project Ireland 2040’ which will ensure sustainable growth over the next 20 years for all parts of Ireland.

“It combines our plan for how Ireland will grow over the next 20 years and is backed up by a €116 billion 10 year capital plan. This will mean that for the first time in Ireland’s history we will ensure that our planning and capital investment plans are meaningfully aligned; the money follows the plan.

“It will ensure that there is a more effective balance of growth across our country, with the intention that all the regions grow at broadly comparable rates,” Deputy Carey concluded.

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