– Record levels of employment with 2.5 million people at work nationally
Jobs figures recently published by the CSO show that employment has increased 17% in the South West region has been welcomed by North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea.
There is now a record level of employment reached nationally, with 2.5m people now at work. Cllr O’Shea made his comments after the publication of the Quarter 1 2022 Labour Force Survey published by the Central Statistics Office recently.
Councillor O’Shea said, “Fine Gael has always prioritised job creation, and it is great to see that employment now stands at 2,505,800 million, in excess of the 2.5 million target set by the Government, ahead of that target date of 2024. In the wake of the Covid pandemic, the Government put a real focus on job creation to help get the economy back on its feet, just as Fine Gael did in the wake of the economic crash a decade ago. 275,200 jobs were created in the year to Q1 2022. Female participation is at a record high and youth unemployment is at a record low”.
Cllr. O’Shea added “Fine Gael is working to build stronger safer communities and job creation across the country is crucial to that. It supports the regeneration of our towns and villages and revitalises our local communities. So it is particularly good to see that all regions have registered job growth. The highest increases have been in the South West and South East. Employment outside of Dublin increased by 187,400 in the year to Q1 2022 (+ 12 percent).” Councillor O’Shea concluded.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said:
“We now have more people employed in the country than at any other point in the history of the state. That is remarkable. Throughout the pandemic, we did our best to help businesses survive and hold onto their staff, so that when things opened up they could reopen and thrive. We set a goal to have 2.5m people at work by 2024 and thanks to the incredible fortitude of Irish businesses, their staff, families and communities, we have now exceeded that goal, with 2,505,800 people at work today.
“There has been jobs growth across all regions with the highest increases in the South West and South East, while female labour market participation is at a record high and the youth unemployment rate is at a record low.
“Our aim is to create good quality, secure jobs and to make sure work pays. I’m working on five new workers rights this year, including introducing mandatory sick pay, in addition to moving to a living wage starting next year, and auto enrolment so everyone who’s working has an occupational pension in addition to the state pension, starting in 2023.
“I know these numbers do not reflect the lived reality of some, and that many are still struggling and worried about the future. We continue to work hard to provide people with opportunities for good, sustainable jobs in every part of the country for anyone that wants one.
“We’re making available 50,000 reskilling and upskilling courses through our Recovery Plan, to help move to a more digital and climate resilient economy. We recognise that many of our small businesses are still trying to get back on their feet after a really tough few years and will continue to help them and we are working hard to continue to attract the very best multinational investment to all parts of Ireland.”
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, said:
“I welcome today’s figures which show employment was at a record level, standing at 2.5 million in the first quarter, up more than 160,000 on the first quarter in 2020. These figures are a result of the successful economic policies introduced by the Government during the pandemic to minimize economic scarring and support a robust recovery. It is likely that employment will continue to grow through this year, albeit at a more moderate pace.
“The direction of travel in the labour market towards full employment may add to capacity pressures at a time when the economy is faced with the twin supply-side inflationary shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. While energy prices are outside our control, non-energy inflation is also running at a record high of 4.7 per cent. Our policies will not add to this inflationary pressure.”
The Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, TD said:
“These figures published today represent a new milestone. It is particularly welcome to see a significant reduction in youth unemployment, which is now down to 5.6%. This is well below pre-pandemic levels and demonstrates the huge progress being made under ‘Pathways to Work’. As we move forward, we will continue to focus our efforts on supporting those who remain un-employed. My Department is here to help and under ‘Pathways to Work’, there are a range of options from training and re-skilling to quality work placements.”