The number of Galwegians out of work, who have dependants relying on them “to put food on the table”, is increasing every year, a situation a local TD has described as “disturbing”.
While the number of people on the Live Register in Galway city and county has dropped by almost 5,500 in the past four years, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show 27 per cent of those ‘signing on’ had dependants - a jump of five per cent since 2011.
Furthermore, the number of people on the Live Register in Galway as a whole, who have child dependents only, has also risen at a time when the overall numbers signing on are falling. Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish has called this “a worrying trend”, saying it indicates how people with young families, or who have ageing parents depending on them, “are not benefiting from the improving economic and employment conditions”.
Dep Grealish believes the high cost of childcare is “probably holding many back” from rejoining the workforce as the economy improves. “This is something that will have to be closely looked at,” he said, “to see if there are ways that those who have people depending on them can be given extra help to get back into the workforce.”
Meanwhile, the new CSO figures also show that the 25 to 34-year-old age group is the worst hit in relation to unemployment in Galway city and county, at 4,820 or 27 per cent of the total number on the Live Register. The next biggest group is aged 35 to 44 (24 per cent ), followed by 45 to 54 (19 per cent ), 55 to 64 (18 per cent ), 20 to 24 (11 per cent ), and under 20s (two per cent ).