Recovery broadens as unemployment falls further
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today said new CSO numbers, which show a further fall in unemployment, highlight the very strong positive momentum in the economy.
Commenting on the CSO’s latest Quarterly National Household Survey, Ibec Head of Policy and Chief Economist Fergal O’Brien said: “The jobs market provides the best evidence of where we are in the economic cycle. The recovery is now gaining traction right across the economy. The quarterly and annual employment trends are very strong and support our view that unemployment will fall below 9% this year.
“Businesses in most sectors are hiring. It is particularly encouraging to see the annual growth in the construction sector at more than 10%. Construction employment is clearly heading back towards more long-term sustainable levels. More jobs will be created as activity normalises. The sharp drop in the long-term unemployment rate is most likely linked to the improvement in the sector.
“The quality of employment continues to improve. The number of part-time jobs dropped by 10,000 over the year, while the number of full-time jobs jumped by almost 40,000. It remains a concern, however, that much of the employment recovery is confined to the greater Dublin area and its commuter countries. Government must do much more to support enterprise and job creation in the regions.
“The strong employment growth will drive buoyant income tax receipts during 2015. In the next budget Government should reduce the current penal marginal tax rate further.”