Highest number of people working in the West in eight years
The figures from the CSO’s main indicator of the jobs’ market – the Quarterly National Household Survey – show that there were 194,900 people in employment in the West in the first quarter of 2017. This is an increase of 18,300 people year-on-year.
The unemployment rate for the West has fallen further to 6.9% which is a drop of one third (32.35%) on the figure for the same quarter in 2016 and almost 60% drop (59.4%) when compared with the second quarter in 2011 when unemployment was at its worst across Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
The employment figures from the Central Statistics Office are exceptionally encouraging. There are 194,900 people now at work in the West – the highest since the second quarter of 2009.
In terms of unemployment the number of people unemployed has plummeted to 14,300 meaning there are 5,600 fewer persons unemployed in the West now when compared with the same period last year. The figure for the first quarter of 2017 – 14,300 – also shows that there are 14,300 fewer persons unemployed than when compared to depths of the recession in the second quarter of 2011.
The CSO figures show without doubt that the employment policies of the last Fine Gael-led government as well the current government have been effective. In particular, the Action Plan for Jobs, with its whole-of-government approach and defined points of responsibility, has helped drive jobs growth and tackle unemployment.
More important though is the impact of this growth which is providing jobs for individuals in the West while also benefiting families and communities in terms of the revenue that is available to invest in our public services.
The challenge for us now is to continue this momentum with continued focus on the national and regional action plans especially in the light of the risks that Brexit and other outside factors pose.
The results of the Quarterly National Household Survey are available at http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=QNQ22&PLanguage=0