No fall in unemployment

29 Aug 2001

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed has stated that they are concerned, but not surprised by today's unemployment statistics that remain unchanged since the previous quarter. The Quarterly National Household Survey for March-May 2001, puts unemployment at 3.7% nationally, unchanged from the December - February period.

"The threat of unemployment has become a primary concern for thousands of workers in recent weeks, said Tony Monks, INOU General Secretary, "While today's figures do not cover the spate of job losses in the IT sector, they indicate an overall slowdown in jobs growth."

" As we predicted there has been a substantial fall in the numbers employed in the hotel/ restaurant sector which is attributable to the effects of Foot and Mouth disease. The numbers employed in this sector fell by 2,000 compared to an increase of 4,000 employees in the industry this time last year."

" On the surface the decrease of 6,900 in the numbers of those long-term unemployed is welcome news. However, we cannot be certain that these people are moving into decent sustainable jobs, or merely moving into unstable work and re-appearing as short term unemployed in the survey."

The Organisation has called on the Government not to ignore the plight of those currently unemployed, and other vulnerable workers in their efforts to combat the downturn in the IT industry.

"Today's figures show that there are currently 142,200 people who want to work, but are not in work. Government must take definitive steps to ensure that those already suffering unemployment are not left on the edges of the labour market. Firstly all unemployed people must be given a real and substantial increase in their payments in the forthcoming Budget. Secondly targeted skills training must be delivered both to unemployed people and vulnerable workers. And finally every effort must be made to deliver sustainable employment in the regions of the country which have seen little benefit from the recent years of jobs growth."

For further information contact:
Tony Monks, General Secretary INOU 01 856 0088 / 087 249 6066
Noeleen Hartigan, Press Officer INOU01 856 0088 / 087 616 7689