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The Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), the Tánaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister), and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today published the sixth progress report of the Action Plan for Jobs, showing that 160 out of 180 measures committed for delivery in Q2 2013 have been implemented, a rate of 89%.
Included in the Action Plan out was the JobPlus scheme, which aims to provide direct cash incentives to employers to hire the long-term unemployed. It also includes the roll-out of the new Local Enterprise Offices, aimed at supporting start-ups and microbusinesses.
Official employment figures published by the Central Statistics Office Ireland (CSO) recently show that the private sector has been adding an average of more than 2,000 jobs per month since the Government published and started implementing the Action Plan for Jobs in early 2012. During the three years 2008-2010, an average of 7,000 jobs per month were being lost in the private sector. The figures also show that:
· Unemployment has dropped from 14.1% to 13.7% - the first time since 2010 it has gone below 14%
· The numbers of people unemployed has dropped below 300,000 for the first time since 2010
· The long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 9.5% to 8.4% in the past year
“Getting Ireland back to work remains the Government’s number one priority and the Action Plan for Jobs is the key driver of work across Government to make the changes needed to support investment and jobs. While there are 2,000 jobs a month being created in the private sector we must do more to break down the barriers to entrepreneurship and job creation. The disruptive reforms which are part of the Action Plan are progressing successfully and I’d like to thank our industry partners for their assistance in implementing these actions. Any targets missed during the past quarter will be prioritised for urgent implementation by Government," said Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton added:
“We are starting to see real progress with our plan to rebuild the economy after 250,000 jobs were lost during the last three years of the previous Government due to the collapse of their economic model based on property, banking and debt. We know that many people have yet to feel the effects of this progress and that many people are really struggling”.
“Since the Action Plan for Jobs was first put in place an average of 2,000 jobs per month are being created in the private sector. Irish and multinational exporting companies had record years in 2012, and recent figures show that this strong performance is continuing in 2013, with major announcements by companies like Glanbia, eBay and Symantec”.
“Today’s announcement shows that the progress is continuing. Jobs will remain our top priority, and we will continue to implement the changes necessary to rebuild the economy. We will continue to deliver on our plan and accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy based on exports, innovation and enterprise that can provide the jobs that we so badly need”.