Recovery ‘not being felt equally’ across all counties

Unemployment may have fallen again in Ireland, but the recovery is not benefitting all counties equally, a leading economist warns.

Recovery ‘not being felt equally’ across all counties

An economist at the global job site Indeed, Mariano Mamertino said the highest and lowest unemployment rate varies between 4.8% in the South-West and more than 8% in the Midlands.

“With the unemployment trajectory expected to continue its downward trend in 2018, it must be hoped that policy efforts to bring investment and new jobs to areas where recovery has been less robust are successful,” said Mr Mamertino.

Mr Mamertino was commenting on last month’s unemployment rate of 6.1%, published yesterday by the Central Statistics Office.

The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed fell by 3,400 between October and November and is down 29,000 compared with November last year.

Mr Mamertino said the continuing downward trend in unemployment is in marked contrast to Spain, Italy, and Greece, which have double-digit levels.

Unemployment stands at 16.7% in Spain, 11.1% in Italy, and 20.6% in Greece.

Mr Mamertino said that recovering employment levels in Ireland have underpinned improving consumer confidence.

Retail sales data for October show a 4.5% uplift on the previous year, and there is the potential for further expansion with the Christmas shopping period now in full swing.

However, Davy said recent commentary suggesting that the economy is now close to full employment is “wide of the mark”.

Employment is still 4.5% below peak; the employment rate at 65.7% is a long way off the 2007 high of 69.8%, and the 59.8% participation rate is still below the peak of 64.1%

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