OECD report a wake-up call on jobs crisis – Calleary

Published on: 12 September 2013

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has said the OECD report published today must wake the Government up from its complacency over the jobs crisis, in particular the deeply worrying levels of long-term unemployment and youth unemployment.

“In recent weeks Ministers have been repeatedly congratulating themselves on the rise in employment reported by the Quarterly National Household Survey. However they conveniently ignored the warning from the CSO that a significant part of the reported increase may not reflect any actual real new jobs,” said Deputy Calleary.

“As the OECD report points out, we risk losing an entire generation of young people unless we tackle the problem of youth unemployment head on right now. The Government cannot continue to tolerate a situation where 30% of our young people are outside of education or paid employment.

“The OECD asks the Government to “prioritise the engagement with long-term jobseekers and increase the number of caseworkers supporting them, through internal redeployment”. It would appear that Minister Joan Burton is pre-occupied with the internal political dynamics of the Labour party and has lost sight of the need to progress these important reforms.

“There are a string of recommendations in this report that were also made in the last OECD report, in relation to better targeting of support for enterprise, the design of education courses and reforms to make the economy work more efficiently. But the Government has failed to take any meaningful action on these and progress has been scant or non-existent.

“Any slight decrease in unemployment can be attributed to emigration and increased part time work. We are not going to make a serious dent in the 415,000 people on the Live Register until we take on board difficult decisions that the OECD is talking about.

“We currently have a part-time Minster for Jobs as he oversees Fine Gael’s campaign to abolish the Seanad. But as this OECD report demonstrates, we cannot afford any more lost time and a continued lack of focus when it comes to tackling the jobs crisis.”

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