- 466,824 on Live Register.
- Unemployment crisis escalates as thousands emigrate.
- 252 extra Redundancies a working day reported in July
- Government’s ‘wait and hope for growth’ policy must change.
- Lack of National Economic Plan a disgrace.
In response to the latest Live Register and Redundancy figures, released today, (Thursday 5th August), ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, castigated the government for its “hands-off” approach to the jobs crisis. The Association called for an immediate National Economic Plan, with an increased focus on initiatives to maintain employment, including the reintroduction of the Employment Subsidy Scheme to all sectors of the business community.
The latest seasonally adjusted live register figures confirm that 452,500 people are claiming assistance, up 34,400 on the corresponding period last year, an increase of 8%, with the standardised unemployment rate rising to 13.7%.
The Redundancy figures confirm that there have been 39,256 redundancies to the end of July, with 57% of these in construction and manufacturing and 43% of job losses were in the services sector. Females now account for 37% of redundancies, confirming that job losses continue to be spread throughout the whole economy.
According to ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, “the true level of unemployment is under-reported through increased emigration, increased participation on state training initiatives and a significant rise in individuals remaining in education. These facts mask the true picture in the jobs market; where well over half a million of our citizens are out of work”.
“The total lack of an overall economic plan for the country is a national disgrace, which will have repercussions for years to come. The Government seems to have bought into the idea that Ireland is set for “jobless growth” and have turned a deaf ear to calls for a jobs stimulus package, which will more than pay for itself. The lack of innovative economic and business thinking, leading to a form of paralysis at Cabinet-level is mind-boggling”.
“It is a crying shame that a whole generation of young, educated Irish has to become economic migrants, like their parents in the 70’s and 80’s. Meanwhile, our government can afford to take holidays, bereft of ideas, lacking a plan, without a solution in sight. All the indications are that the labour market will continue to deteriorate, with thousands of more jobs at risk, as the cabinet tinkers around the edges, sans strategy, sans plan, sans anything”.
In conclusion, Fielding outlined, “The business community cannot wait for this government to wake up, as SMEs, in particular, are striving to compete. It is time for the immediate introduction of a comprehensive National Economic Plan incorporating a National Employment Strategy to address the escalating jobs crisis. The plan must address the concerns of business, including labour costs and competitiveness together with incentives to create and maintain employment”.
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