Govt not delivering on jobs

Posted: August 8, 2013 in Jobs

The government is claiming that they are making progress in tackling the unemployment crisis. Jobs are being created. The live register is falling. The number of people in employment is increasing.

Surely this is good news? Should we not be commending Fine Gael and Labour for their efforts?

Every three months the Central Statistics Office publishes the Quarterly National Household Survey. This detailed report provides us with the headline employment and unemployment figures.

Unfortunately most of the media don’t report beyond the headline figures. If they did the general public would have a much better picture of what’s really happening on the jobs front.

So what does the latest survey, published in May of this year, tell us?

In the governments favour it shows that since Fine Gael and Labour took office the number of people officially unemployed has fallen by 15,600.

It also shows that the number of people in employment has increased, though only by paltry 3,800.

So what has happened to the other 11,800 who are no longer unemployed? Some will have gone into education or training. Others have emigrated.

So three quarters of the fall in unemployment since Fine Gael and Labour too office is down to people leaving the labour force, not getting jobs.

The report also highlights a very worrying trend in the jobs market.

While the total number of people in employment has increased, the number in full time employment has fallen by 10,700. At the same time the number of people in part time employment has increased by 14,400.

So the net increase in jobs is an increase in part time jobs.

More worryingly the survey also tells us that the number of people in part time employment classified as underemployed has increased by 29,400 – a 23% increase since Fine Gael and Labour took office.

There has also been an increase in the number of people in long term unemployment since the start of 2011.
The situation for young people is even more troubling.

Again the number of young people officially unemployed has fallen since the government took office, by 11,000. But the number of under 25s in employment during the same period has also fallen, by a hefty 24,100.

All of these young people have left the labour force, which has shrunk by 35,100, which means that again education and training or emigration explain the fall in youth joblessness.

So, what does the CSO Quarterly National Household Survey tell us about the Governments record in tackling the unemployment crisis?

It tells us very clearly that the Government is failing. The reason why there are less people unemployed is because there are more people emigrating or going into training and education.

It also tells us that the single biggest change in the labour market is a dramatic increase in low paid part time work.

The Government claims that tackling the jobs crisis is their number one priority. The Action Plan for Jobs 2012 promised to get 100,000 more people to work by 2016.

Last month the Government announced its latest initiative to reduce long term unemployment by 20,000 in the next 12 months and 75,000 by 2015.

Tackling the unemployment crisis means getting people back to work. Unless the Government starts to invest in job creation then the only way these targets will be met is by people leaving the labour force.

If the jobs crisis really is the Governments number one priority then Budget 2014 will include a major jobs investment package. It will also reverse the damaging austerity policies that are keeping the domestic economy in recession.

Unfortunately the chances of either of these things happening is about as likely as the Government meeting its jobs targets.

  1. Justin says:

    And what of delivering on jobs in the North, where Sinn Féin is in government? Surely, as a leading member of your party you are in a position to do something about the neo liberal agenda being followedby Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland – or whatever you want to call it. Or perhaps you can show me how I’m wrong in my analysis. How do you say elephant in the room in Irish?

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