Over 24,900 jobs have been created in the South West region of Ireland since 2016, North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea said the local surge in employment reflects Fine Gael in Government’s commitment to rural Ireland, with over 150,000 jobs created outside of Dublin since 2016, exceeding all targets.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “There has been an increase of 24,900 people now employed in the South West, a rise of 8% since 2016 which is excellent news for County Cork.
“Employment has increased, and unemployment has decreased, in every region of the country since the start of 2016.
“With 81,000 more people at work across Ireland since this time last year, our enterprise-based economy is now creating over 1,500 jobs a week.
“There are over 2.3 million people now in employment in the state, an all-time high. This surpasses the peak of 2007 by 49,700, restoring all the jobs lost in the crash.
“The unemployment rate has dropped below 5%, to 4.6%, for the first time in a decade. Over 221,100 jobs have been created since the start of 2016, well exceeding our target of 200,000 new jobs by 2020.
“This growth is continuing with over 35,000 new jobs in Q1 2019, seasonally adjusted. This is a broad-based recovery with employment increasing in 12 of the 14 sectors.
“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.
“With consistent improvement in employment for several years with Fine Gael in Government, it is time to turn our attention to the future needs of our businesses and workers through our new whole-of-Government plan, Future Jobs Ireland.
“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. This Government is determined to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. That is why we are preparing now for tomorrow’s world.”
Cllr. O’Shea said: “Fine Gael is delivering ‘Project Ireland 2040’ which will ensure sustainable growth over the next twenty 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.
“The rejuvenation of rural towns and villages is a priority for Fine Gael and is a strong feature of Project Ireland 2040 as demonstrated by the €1bn Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the €2bn Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.
“Also, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme has provided €53 million for more than 675 projects across the State,” Cllr. O’Shea said.