There was further good news on the jobs front, this week, when the Central Statistics Office released figures showing that the unemployment rate last month fell to 8.4%, down from 9.7% in April of last year.
The number of unemployed people in Ireland was 183,700 in April. That’s a drop of of 3,700, compared to the March figure, and a fall of 25,700, compared to April, 2015.
It is the most hopeful sign yet that the economic recovery is finally becoming more widespread, and the fact that youth unemployment is falling is also very welcome, although, at 18%, it is still far too high.
Much credit must go to the last coalition government, but our new minority administration still has a lot of work to do and cannot, for a moment, be complacent about unemployment.
In particular, note should be taken of the importance of supporting indigenous industry and of not becoming overly reliant on foreign direct investment, welcome and all though that is. The decision by Intel to cut its Irish workforce by 400 is a current case in point.
The social and personal impact of unemployment should also be kept in mind. Statistics, after all, only show half the picture of what it is like to be without gainful employment. It is pointless quoting a rate of 8.4% to anyone without a job. For them, it is 100%.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved