Employment is falling, unemployment is rising

7 Jun 2012

Today the Central Statistics Office released the Quarterly National Household Survey for the first quarter of 2012. For the first time since the same quarter in 2003, employment has fallen below 1.8m and now stands at 1,786,100 people. Unemployment rose over the year by 4.5% to 309,000 people while long-term unemployment rose by 15.1% to 187,400 people. The long-term unemployment rate is now 8.9%. The 25-44 age group constitute 56.9% of this long-term unemployed figure and are the age group struggling with the serious personal debt issues.

"It is absolutely critical that the development of the new National Employment and Entitlement Service, the development of the new further education and training body SOLAS, and the implementation of Pathways to Work strive to meet unemployed people's needs and create excellent services that assist unemployed people to find a decent job," noted Bríd O'Brien, Head of Policy and Media with the INOU. However, the INOU is keenly aware that if the Action Plan for Jobs fails to deliver on job creation that it will be very hard for the DSP to deliver on its activation targets as there will be ultimately insufficient employment for unemployed people to access.

"Given the lack of employment it is vital that the Government facilitates unemployed people to take up work and to build up their own connections in the labour market," said Bríd. "Ultimately a more flexible and progressive social welfare system could be the most useful form of activation," she concluded.