The fact that 91% of the 126,000 jobs added to the economy since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs are full-time, is extremely encouraging and an indication of a strong economy, that is growing”, says Fine Gael Senator for Co. Wexford, Michael D’Arcy.
“According to CSO data, we have now had 11 consecutive quarters of jobs growth and in the last two years, part-time work has fallen, while full-time jobs have grown. The number of people working variable hours is down by 50,000.
“When this Government took over in 2011, we were faced with a broken economy where thousands of highly educated people were either unemployed or working in positions for which they were way over qualified. Now over 52,000 new jobs have been created by IDA and Enterprise Ireland companies where above average salaries are paid.
“Over 22,000 of the 126,000 jobs are in construction, where average wages remain stable. Over 14,000 positions are in education and health, while over 35,000 people have set up new businesses of their own. There has also been significant growth in tourism across the country, which has resulted in full and part time work.
“The unemployment rate remains too high at 9.5% and there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that local economies grow in all parts of the country. However we must recognise the progress that has been made so far.
“The number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 81,000, down almost 60% and every region is now experiencing jobs growth and falling unemployment. The number of young people signing on has fallen by 45% in the past 3 years and emigration among young people has fallen by 56%, from the peak of 20,000 per year.
“The Government is on track to replace all the jobs lost in the crisis by 2018 and to bring about a situation where there will be more Irish people coming back home to take up jobs. I am confident that with continued hard work we can bring more high quality jobs to the local economy here in Wexford.”