Burke welcomes major reduction in unemployment figures

Central Statistics Office (CSO ) data shows the number of people unemployed has decreased by more than 40,000 in the last year.

The figures released by the CSO show the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2017 was 8.3 per cent or 181,500 people down on June last year.

Fine Gael Deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Peter Burke, says this shows that the Government’s growth-driven policies are working as the country heads towards full employment.

“Since Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs was introduced in 2012, it has been one of the Government’s key instruments to support job creation,” he said.

“This is a massive drop in the unemployment rate since unemployment peaked in 2012, the legacy of Fianna Fáil’s policies and their inept reaction to the economic crisis.

“Over 225,000 jobs have been created since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012, with 1,300 new jobs created every week during 2016. In percentage terms this is one of the highest decreases across the entire European Union.

“I am glad to see that this hugely successful approach has been taken with the Rural Action Plan, and I am hopeful that similarly positive outcomes will be achieved in rural Ireland, which is a key Government priority and one I am raising frequently with the new Minister for Rural Affairs, Michael Ring.”

Deputy Burke said the Government is focused on achieving full employment by 2019. As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, more emphasis is being put on regional and rural jobs in areas which may not have experienced the same growth as Dublin or the other cities have, he added.

“While the economic recovery has taken root, our social recovery is only beginning,” Deputy Burke said. “The Live Register in May was at the lowest number recorded since October 2008.

“We must nurture the social recovery at this crucial phase and we are determined to remove disadvantage and exclusion across our society - rural to urban, young to old, all levels and kinds of ability. We went to ensure access for all to high quality public services including affordable and high-quality childcare.”

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