Smart Education in Ireland : Number of people in work hits 6-year high

As the level of unemployment continues to fall, new figures indicate the number of people currently working is the highest it has been in six years.

According to the CSO, the rate of unemployment fell from 10% to 9.6% in the second quarter of this year. It is the 12th quarter in a row in which the jobless rate has fallen.

The total number of unemployed people now stands at 211,200, down from 254,500.

Long-term unemployment also dropped, from 6.8% to 5.5%. Long-term unemployment now accounts for 56.1% of all unemployment, compared to 57.6% last year and 58.2% the year before.

At the end of the second quarter, some 1,958,700 people were classed as employed, representing an increase of 57,100.

This growth was accompanied by a 0.6% rise in the number of people in the labour force.

The sectors which have seen the most significant gains in employment in the past year are construction, which has enjoyed an increase of 18.5%, and the financial sector, which has seen a 5.7% rise.

The sectors of education, administration, and the accommodation and food service experienced marginal decreases.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton welcomed the latest employment figures.

“We are clearly moving in the right direction, but any momentum gained can be easily lost by a change of focus or a change in policy,” Mr Bruton said.

“My determination, and the Government’s determination, is to secure full-time employment by 2018 and to get all those who want to work into a job.”

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme) criticised the Government, however, warning that further job growth in the SME sector was being hindered by uneconomic wage expectations.

“The shadow of impending cost increases is causing SME owners to stall on new job creation,” said Isme chief executive Mark Fielding.

“The increase in wages from the compliant Low Pay Commission, the electricity hikes through an incompetent energy regulator, and the election promises of paternal, parental, and sick pay are having a negative effect on employment.

“Business cannot be expected to take on more staff under these circumstances.”

Meanwhile, CSO figures for immigration and emigration have also been released.

They show the number of immigrants has increased, while the number of people leaving the country has fallen.

Some 69,300 people moved to Ireland between April 2014 and April this year, an increase of 8,500 on the previous 12-month period, while 80,900 emigrated during the same time period, a decrease of 1,000.

Some 30,400 emigrants were aged between 15 and 25, bringing the total number of 15- to 25-year-olds who have emigrated in the last seven years to 223,600.

The figure for inward migration among the same age group has decreased, with 14,700 under the age of 25 coming into the country, compared to 15,900 in the year to April 2014.

The National Youth Council of Ireland expressed concern at the figures and warned that more needs to be done to entice young people not only to stay in the country but to encourage emigrants to return.

“Overall the emigration and return migration figures are disappointing. We had hoped to see a much bigger drop in the emigration figures,” said Marie-Claire McAleer, the council’s senior research and policy officer.

"Ireland is emerging the best place to study nowadays...many students are selecting Ireland because the country offers many good reasons which no other country till now offers", says Mr. Deepak, Education Manager, Career XL Services..


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