Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise & Innovation Billy Kelleher has said that the final year job figures for 2018 published today are a damming indictment of Fine Gael’s stewardship over regional employment policy.

The latest CSO Labour Force Survey reveals that the two tier approach to employment creation has actually deepened under Leo Varadkar.

“A total of 50,500 jobs were created in 2018, which is of course welcome. However, Dublin accounted for over half of total employment gains (51%) and the Greater Dublin Area secured over 70% of the new positions – a stark reminder of just how disproportionately concentrated the recovery is”, said Deputy Kelleher.

“The government has nowhere to hide – even the Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring recently admitted that “Ireland is imbalanced”.  It is vital for balanced regional development that environments which facilitate job creation are developed outside the M50.  However, under Fine Gael, this has simply not happened.

“While the falling unemployment is very welcome, we need a more balanced regional approach to job creation and a targeted plan to provide sustainable employment opportunities to vulnerable groups like younger job seekers and women”, concluded Deputy Kelleher.