Minister Burton welcomes latest figures showing more than 1,000 people a week returning to work

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Surge in employment numbers a clear sign of recovery

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, has today (26 November 2013) welcomed the latest Central Statistics Office data which show an increase of 58,000 in the number of people at work over the last year.

The CSO Quarterly National Household Survey shows that employment rose by 3.2% in the year to the third quarter of 2013, bringing total employment to 1,899,300.

The Minister said it was a further sign as of the economic recovery bedding down as Ireland prepares to successfully exit the bailout programme.

"More than 1,000 people a week are returning to work, proof that the measures taken by the Government to stabilise the economy and address the unemployment crisis which we inherited are paying off.

"The unemployment rate decreased from 13.6% to 12.8% in the last quarter – the sixth consecutive fall and a sign of the steady progress being made. I particularly welcome the fact that long-term unemployment has reduced from 8.9% this time last year to 7.6% now.

"These figures follow the separate data published by the Central Statistics Office showing that the Live Register in October fell below 400,000 for the first time in four years.

"There are still far too many people out of work, and tackling unemployment will remain the Government’s number one priority, but these figures demonstrate that we are making steady progress. Especially important is the fact that the majority of people returning to work are returning to full-time employment, as today’s figures demonstrate.

"Through the Action Plan for Jobs overseen by my colleague, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, and the Pathways to Work strategy overseen by my Department, I am confident that we will build on this progress and ensure the number of people returning to work continues to increase."

The Action Plan for Jobs, overseen by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., is designed to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy, while Pathways to Work, overseen by Minister Burton, aims to ensure that as many as possible of those newly created jobs go to people on the Live Register.

Minister Burton also highlighted the role that Family Income Supplement can play in helping people return to work.

Family Income Supplement is a weekly tax-free top-up payment to employees on low pay with children. It helps families continue in work and build towards financial independence. At present, more than 40,000 working families with a total of more than 90,000 children benefit from the scheme. The Department spent €224 million on FIS in 2012 and this is expected to increase to over €280 million in 2014.


Last modified:26/11/2013