Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has said the latest CSO unemployment figures will give the government food for thought as Ministers decamp to their summer retreats.

“While the recent decrease in annual unemployment figures is welcome, the latest data points to a possible stagnation in the unemployment rate within the first half of 2015.  Government Ministers will have their sails punctured by the first recorded monthly rise in the unemployment figures in 18 months”, said Deputy Calleary.

“A closer look at the data reveals a few worrying trends.  The unemployment rate for the under 25s is at roughly the same level as the EU 28 monthly average. If it were not for outward migration in recent years, youth unemployment would be much higher. Alarmingly though, the brain drain has not been addressed at all by this government.  In fact, the introduction of initiatives like JobBridge, combined with the reduction in Jobseekers Allowance have only served to alienate younger people leaving them with no choice but to look for work abroad.

“The number of women registered as unemployed rose by 500 between June and July.  This Government’s failure to deal with important issues like childcare costs, while simultaneously cutting vital supports for single parents, is forcing mothers out of the workplace and into the social welfare system.

“This government is very quick to roll out the red carpet and welcome large multinational job announcements in high tech sectors. More attention needs to be paid to indigenous small and medium companies, which are the backbone of this economy, and where a regional spread can be developed.

“Today’s unemployment figures are a sobering wake up call for the government. More action and less spin is needed for the 208,900 people who remain on the margins, desperately looking to get on the employment ladder”.