CSO figures released last week revealed unemployment in the Midlands region has fallen by 30 per cent since the first quarter of 2012.
This amounts to a 7,400 decrease in the number of people out of work in the region, down from a figure of 24,200 from 2012. However, the figures also reveal that the region now tops the pile in terms of nationwide unemployment figures at 12.4 per cent.
The news of a drop in jobless figures in the country has been greeted warmly by Fine Gael TD Gabrielle McFadden: “Jobs have grown in all eight regions since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton in 2012, with the strongest percentage increases not in Dublin or Cork but in regional Ireland.
“In fact, the number of jobs created is highest in proportion to population in the Midlands (13.8 per cent ), the South East (14.4 per cent ) and Border counties (12 per cent ). In total, 135,800 extra jobs have been added to the economy since 2012 and, most encouragingly, growth is strongest in regional areas including the Midlands. While more needs to be done to ensure that everyone feels its benefit, there can be no doubt that real progress has been made.
“The number of long-term unemployed nationally has declined from 204,300 when the Action Plan was launched to 109,800 today, a decrease of 46 per cent. With the number of people emigrating also falling, this is extremely positive news.”