The Quarterly National Household Survey Q4 2010 figures released this week shows that some 18,900 people are unemployed in the Midlands region. The region’s unemployment rate has increased substantially to 15.9 per cent compared with 9.5 per cent two years ago.
Speaking on the issue, IBEC regional director Gary O’Mahoney said, “The figures released today highlight the serious impact the economic downturn has had on the region. 18,900 people are out of work locally and over 299,000 nationally. The new Government must act quickly in its first 100 days to put a comprehensive jobs plan in place. Businesses want to see a relentless focus on reform, cost savings, competitiveness, and the support of enterprise.
“We have an unemployment crisis that needs to be tackled head-on, particularly the very serious problem of long-term unemployment. We need to put in place advice and training services for those who have lost their jobs so they are able to take up work when companies start hiring again. We also need a concerted effort to bring our wage levels back down to those of our competitors.
“Getting the country back to work is the most important task facing the new Government. Every decision must take into account the impact on jobs. The right policies will help restore our economic fortunes, but the wrong ones will prolong the economic pain.”