Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has said the new Quarterly National Household Survey reveals an underlying weakening of the labour force, with a sharp increase in under-employment and a decrease in full-time employment.
Deputy Calleary commented, “The government must not spin these figures to claim ‘success’ in tackling the jobs crisis. The reality is that the increase in employment over the past quarter has in fact been an increase in part-time and under-employment, while the numbers in full time work have fallen.
“The majority of the new jobs emerging over the past quarter have been part-time and temporary. Part-time farming and fishing jobs account for three quarters of the total increase, and the CSO has pointed out that these figures are seasonal and unpredictable. Meanwhile, employment in the construction sector has fallen by 7,000 in the last quarter as the Government continues to slash capital spending, which is down 25% in the first four months of the year.
“What is particularly worrying is the falling participation rate, as people drop out of the workforce to emigrate, return to education or to give up their search for work. This is a very bad sign for the long-term health of the economy. Equally worrying is the 12.3% spike in ‘underemployment’, i.e. the numbers with part time or casual jobs who cannot get more work,
“The reality is that we still have a very serious jobs crisis in this country. It is not enough for the government to wax lyrical about jobs being its ‘priority’, while failing to take meaningful action to deliver real jobs and support business in communities across the country.”