10% of people under 60 live in jobless households

10% of people under 60 live in jobless households
Willie O’Dea: ‘The high proportion of people growing up in jobless households is worrying and needs to be tackled.’

One in 10 working-age households has no one in employment.

The statistic contrasts with recent figures showing low levels of unemployment. However a breakdown of employment data reveals jobless blackspots and huge differences across regions.

Overall, some 9.1% of all people aged 0-59 years live in a jobless household.

However, the jobless household levels for that age group in the south-east, the west, and the midlands rise to 14%.

In contrast, the south-west, Dublin, and the mid-east have much lower numbers out of work, a drill-down into CSO information on the labour force reveals.

The details were obtained by Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea after queries to the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty.

The Limerick City TD told the Irish Examiner: “The economy is now close to full employment which is, of course, welcome.

However, when you dig below the headline statistics there is a significant proportion of people living in jobless households.

The country’s overall unemployment level was at 4.6% for July, hitting an 11-year low. However, that CSO monthly data does not include regional breakdowns, contained in quarterly labour force surveys.

Further detail was released on households and certain ages.

And there are hugely different results for regions, gender, and ages.

The worst jobless household blackspots are in the Midlands and south-east.

The proportion of people aged 0-59 years living in households where no one has a job in the south-east — Wexford, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, and South Tipperary — reaches 12.6%.

Furthermore, it rises to 14.5% when just those aged 0-17 years are identified in the south- east.

Figures are similar for the west.

A similarly stark situation exists in the midlands, for Laois, Longford, Offaly, and Westmeath. In those counties, the proportion of persons aged 0-59 years living in jobless households is 13.1%. It rises to 13.8% for all females aged 18-59 years.

The numbers of households where no one has a job are much lower elsewhere.

In the south-west — Cork and Kerry — 9% aged 0-59 years live in a jobless household.

In the mid-east — Kildare, Meath, and Wicklow — same age jobless households account for just 5.9% of households while in Dublin the proportion is 7.8%.

“The high proportion of people including children growing up in jobless households is worrying and needs to be tackled,” said Mr O’Dea.

“Whilst a job in and of itself does not mean that a person will be immune from poverty and social exclusion it does have a bearing on a person’s material and social well-being.

“I am therefore calling on Minister Doherty and her colleagues in Government to redouble their efforts to reduce the number of jobless households and ensure that the labour market is as accessible as possible for as many people as possible.”

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