Over 300 redundancy payments in just seven months

Department figures reveal surge in redundancies

There were 303 redundancy payments made in Westmeath during the first seven months of this year according to Government figures released this week which show a rise in layoffs nationally.

The figures from the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment have shown that in total 20,392 people have been laid off nationally between January and July 2008, which is almost 36 per cent more than the figure for the same period last year.

The shocking statistics, which show 132 people losing their jobs on a daily basis, have prompted the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association (ISME ) to warn that there may be a record number of job losses by the end of the year.

In Westmeath, between January and July 2008 a total of 303 redundancy payments were made. It was the month of May which experienced the highest number of payments with a total of 58; 42 of these were received by men.

In fact, from the very start of the year the job front did not look so rosy in Westmeath with a total of 50 redundancy payments; again, men were in receipt of the majority (34 ) and this trend continued right up to July. There was a slight improvement the following month with 37 payments and this dropped again to 27 in March. However, by April the payments increased to 53, reaching a high of 58 in May, down to 36 in June, and back up to 42 in July.

Out of all the Midland counties, Westmeath had the highest amount of redundancy payments during these months; Offaly had 236, Laois 294, and Longford 170. The bordering county of Roscommon had 197.

The common denominator between all the counties is the high amount of male redundancies which can be explained by the fact that over half of the lay- offs were in the predominantly male sectors of construction and manufacturing. Between January and May 2008 there were 3,268 jobs lost in the building and civil engineering sector nationally, while there were 2,192 lost in manufacturing.

Over 7,500 of the year’s redundancies to date were in the Dublin area, 1,853 in Cork, and over 1,000 in both Galway and Limerick. Counties Louth (698 ), Waterford (844 ), and Kildare (940 ) were also badly hit as was Monaghan (403 ).

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