The Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has today called on the Government to make the jobs crisis their number one priority.
The Association criticised the Government’s jobs’ record to date and outlined that unless immediate action is taken, the economy will deteriorate further, resulting in more job losses and increased emigration.
The latest seasonally adjusted live register figures confirm that 449,600 people are claiming assistance, up 22,700 on the corresponding period last year, an increase of 5.3%, with the standardised unemployment rate standing at 13.7%.
There was a monthly decrease of 5,400 in the Live Register in September 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis, however.
"The so-called strategy and action plan to increase jobs, announced yesterday by Government, is long on aspiration and short on substance and a rehash of old initiatives and will do little in the short term to alleviate the crisis.," said ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.
"It should be noted that long term unemployment has more than doubled in the last 12 months, with the rate now standing at 5.9%, in comparison to 2.6% in the second quarter 2009, leading to serious ramifications for our economic future.
"It is completely unacceptable that thousands of young well-educated individuals see no hope of getting a job and feel that they have little option but to emigrate. This is a terrible indictment of an administration that has completely lost control and is leading the country towards a major crash that will take generations to fix.
"The ‘no job, no hope’ attitude, which is current, needs to be addressed in a coherent manner, with immediate actions and not another Pollyanna report”.