Fine Gael/Labour Coalition Ignoring Emigration
The Fine Gael/Labour coalition has ignored the massive impact of emigration when congratulating itself over the rate of unemployment in the Republic declining to under 12%, according to Unite economist, Michael Taft.
The Republic’s unemployment rate is now down to the Eurozone average. This led to the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, in March to state the figures were encouraging and signalled Ireland’s return to being a “normal euro zone country”.
However, Taft said: “Irish emigration has been more than five times the average of other EU-15 countries. In terms of emigration, Ireland is hardly normal.”
He added: “Between the 3rd quarter of 2011, when unemployment in absolute numbers was at its highest, and the 4th quarter in 2013, the numbers of unemployed fell by 75,000. However, the number of working age people emigrating was 116,000 while the numbers on labour activation schemes, training and education increased by 29,000.
“The total number emigrating or additional labour activation participants increased at nearly twice the level of the fall in unemployment.”