McFadden welcomes employment figures but calls for focus

Athlone-based Senator, Gabrielle McFadden, says that Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs has surpassed its targets ensuring that employment is now at its highest level in nine years, but is urging continued focus.

Figures released by the CSO recently show employment is now at its highest level since the economic crash.

“In the Midlands, there has been an increase in employment of 18,800 during the last five years and of 7,900 in the last two years alone,” Senator McFadden said. “That is 7,900 households where someone is getting up to go out to work where they had previously been depending on social welfare. Overall, the number of people in employment is now 206,000 higher than when Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs was launched in early 2012.

“Youth unemployment is down, long-term unemployment is down, unemployment is down amongst both men and women and part-time employment is being replaced by full-time work. Employment has grown for 18 successive quarters and in all sectors of the economy. Statistics such as these can sometimes seem meaningless, but this has a real impact for the people involved and for communities all around the country.

“Getting a job after a period of unemployment can boost a person’s confidence and self-belief. It is also great news for communities across the county, as every job created has a positive knock-on effect for local businesses and services.”

Senator McFadden is calling for continued focus from all parties in government in order to improve the employment situation further, boosting both people’s lives and the economy.

“We must not allow this success to cause us to lose focus now,” she said. “There are still people who want to work and do not yet have a job. We must continue with our targeted policies to ensure that everyone who wants to work can do so. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can provide the services needed to improve people’s lives.

“Our original goal in the Action Plan for Jobs was to add 100,000 jobs by the end of 2016. There were many who said that it could not be done and even some who hoped that we would not be successful. The statistics today show that we have more than doubled that target.”

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