Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has said that Ireland’s rate of jobless households demonstrates that tens of thousands of families are not feeling the benefits of the economic recovery.

Deputy O’Dea made the comments after receiving new information through parliamentary question replies. The latest data shows that of 1,440,600 relevant households in Ireland, some 253,000 have no adult in employment. This represents 17.6% of the total number of households.

Deputy O’Dea said, “The relatively high rate of jobless households in Ireland is deeply concerning. The figures underscore that significant problems remain to be overcome when you look beyond the main headline employment figures.

“While the Government did launch the ‘Action Plan on Jobless Households’ last September, the pace at which they are tackling this issue remains far too slow. There is no real sense of urgency from the Government in wanting to meet this challenge head on. The response has been far too sluggish to date.

“Fine Gael have been in Government for seven years now and despite their constant spin on employment, the fact of the matter is that 253,000 of relevant households are deemed to be without a job. This tells a different story to the one continuously trotted out by Fine Gael Ministers on the airwaves.

“It is essential that the ‘Action Plan on Jobless Households’ delivers. The Government needs to prioritise this issue and deal with it accordingly. We can’t tolerate a situation where tens of thousands of households are effectively living on the margins of society. It’s clear that the Taoiseach’s ‘Republic of Opportunity’ is far from being realised when these statistics are considered.”