Hotels and construction drive new jobs rise

Two sectors of the economy — hotels and restaurants and construction — provided a major jobs boost in the past year, while Ireland’s long-term jobless rate remains at an elevated level, according to CSO figures.

Its new Quarterly National Household Survey showed employment was up 57,500 in the three months to the end of September from a year earlier, with numbers at work again topping the 2m mark. 

The new jobs included almost 44,800 full-time and 12,800 part-time staff.

The self-employed, which should increase rapidly at a time of economic growth, accounted for 4,300 of the new jobs. 

There are now almost 1.7m employees and 327,400 self-employed people at work in the economy. 

Twelve of the 14 areas of the economy monitored by the CSO showed growth in employment in the year. However, two sectors — accommodation and restaurants and construction — posted the largest increases. 

Between them, they accounted for 22,700, or almost 40%, of all the new jobs created in the past year.

Hotel and hospitality industry groups successfully saw off any risk that Finance Minister Michael Noonan would increase the low 9% level of Vat on accommodation and restaurants back up to 13.5%. He first introduced the extra-low rate in in 2011.

Two other sectors, the wholesale and the retail trade and the broad-based “industry” sector, also posted increases and are the largest employers in the economy.

Across the regions, the four local authorities that make up the Dublin region added almost 16,000 jobs in the year, while the south west added almost 13,000 jobs and the south east increased employment by almost 8,000.

Faring less well were the border and midland regions, where each region added about 1,000 jobs in the year. Unemployment in the south east, border, and midland areas also remains above the average of 8% recorded across the State

At 10.4%, the south east has the highest jobless rate, while the midland region, at 10.1%, has the second highest. 

Those rates compare with 7.5% jobless rate in Dublin and 6.4% in the south west, the lowest in the State.

Based on the survey, October’s unemployment rate across the State has been reset at 7.5%.

Overall, the long-term jobless numbers fell but, at 92,300, still account for more than half of all people who are unemployed. 

The CSO said the youth jobless rate, defined as people aged between 15 and 24 years who don’t have a job, also fell, to 17.7% in the quarter. Mr Noonan said the new Coalition’s bid to ensure “balanced growth” was working.

“The Government’s commitment remains to help create 200,000 new jobs by 2020, including 135,000 outside of Dublin,” he said. “Supporting a balanced recovery across all regions and all sectors will help workers and their families feel the benefits of recovery.”

Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank Ireland, said “one of the most notable features” was the rise in female employment.

“The drop in employment among males was notably more severe than among females through the downturn and, subsequently, in 2013 and 2014, the recovery in male employment was notably stronger,” he said. “However, in recent quarters, the majority of job gains have been for females.”


Lifestyle

New drama series Mrs America stars Cate Blanchett, while Liverpool are among the teams in action in the Premier League.Wednesday's TV highlights: Mrs America and live Liverpool action

More From The Irish Examiner