EU report shows extent of recession

The full extent of the recession was laid bare today in a report measuring Ireland's social and economic progress.

Officials figures showed the unemployment rate was the sixth highest across Europe last year, while economic growth fell sharply and government debt rose steeply to nearly two-thirds of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Elsewhere the study - Measuring Ireland's Progress 2009 - revealed the productivity of those still in work, measured by GDP per person employed, was about a third higher than the EU average.

"As Irish employees work longer hours, the productivity per hour worked is relatively lower, but still about 4% above the EU average," it added.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) noted that despite 4.2% of the population remaining in consistent poverty in 2009 Ireland boasted the biggest baby boom in the EU.

The report confirmed Ireland had the lowest divorce and highest fertility rate in the EU, with the population increasing by 17.7% to 4.46 million between 2000 to 2009.

It also had the highest proportion of young people aged under 14 years, and the lowest proportion of pensioners.

While the pupil-teacher ratio at primary level in Ireland was high by EU standards, the number of the early school-leavers is better than average. Student numbers also rose in 2009, particularly at third-level.

On housing the report said the number of dwelling units built peaked at almost 90,000 in 2006 before collapsing to about 26,400 in 2009, the level that prevailed before the mid-1990s.

"The average value of a new housing loan in Ireland rose from €92,000 in 1999 to €270,000 in 2008," it added.

Focusing on crime, it showed sexual offences dropped by a fifth and killings were down by one 10th over the four-year period to 2008 - the number of murders/manslaughters recorded in Ireland decreased from its peak of 84 in 2007 to 55.

Elsewhere the CSO reported a rise in most other categories recorded increases, including controlled drug offences (plus 137%), weapons and explosive offences (plus 86%), and road and traffic offences (plus 79%).

More on this topic

NTMA recession warning: Let’s not fear the probableNTMA recession warning: Let’s not fear the probable

Eddie Hobbs: Is a recession looming - that's the multi billion dollar question?Eddie Hobbs: Is a recession looming - that's the multi billion dollar question?

Young mothers depressed due to recessionYoung mothers depressed due to recession

Over one in five face ‘enforced deprivation’ - despite economic recoveryOver one in five face ‘enforced deprivation’ - despite economic recovery


More in this Section

Boil water notice for 500 people in LimerickBoil water notice for 500 people in Limerick

Government willing to go 'as far as it takes' to defend position on Public Services CardGovernment willing to go 'as far as it takes' to defend position on Public Services Card

Ross to talk with UK government about Rosslare Harbour ownershipRoss to talk with UK government about Rosslare Harbour ownership

Gardaí warn car owners to lock vehicles following spree of break-insGardaí warn car owners to lock vehicles following spree of break-ins


Lifestyle

This truck serves as an excellent metaphor for what needs to happen in our education system. A colossal truck needs to barge in front of it.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Time to ditch private schools

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

More From The Irish Examiner