MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has welcomed new statistics from Eurostat which show that unemployment continued to fall impressively in Ireland over the past 12 months. Irish unemployment was 6.3% in in August 2017, down from 7.9% at the same time last year.
MEP Kelly said that these figures demonstrate the great work the Government is doing to ensure everyone who wants a job can get one.
“These new figures are significant, particularly when we see where we have come from, and also when compared to other EU Member States. Ireland’s unemployment levels are now well below the EU (7.6%) and Eurozone (9.1%) averages; this is testament to the efforts of successive Fine Gael governments.
“Our performance looks all the more impressive when compared to Member States that also encountered big difficulties during the economic downturn: Spain’s unemployment is at 17.1%, Italy’s at 11.2%, and Greece’s at 21.2%.
“Another area that is hugely important, and one in which Ireland is doing extremely well, is youth unemployment. In the past year we have made massive strides in this area, going from an unemployment rate for under-25s of 17.2% in August 2016 to just 12.7% in August 2017; there are increasingly more opportunities for young Irish people”.
Mr. Kelly stressed that the current Government must be given credit for implementing the policies that have led to such improvements.
“This Fine Gael government is ambitious for Ireland in terms of creating opportunities for employment and supporting the enterprises that provide them. The upcoming budget will continue us along the path which will eventually ensure that nobody who wants a job will be without one.
“Additionally, shortly after the budget, Fine Gael will publish the ten-year-capital plan that will further drive investment and job creation, and set out a longer-term plan for the country. I look forward to seeing even more improvements to these unemployment statistics next year”, he concluded.