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Youth unemployment crisis far more pronounced than government wants to admit - Reilly

6 July, 2015

Speaking today in response to the Nevin Economic Research Institute’s (NERI) report into the levels of emigration amongst young people since the start of the economic crisis, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly agreed with NERI director Tom Healy in his analysis that “were it not for emigration, unemployment today might be only moderately less – if at all – than what it was at its peak in 2012”.

Senator Reilly said:

“I have said for some time now that the youth unemployment crisis in Ireland is far more pronounced than this government wants to admit. Only last week, I stressed the seriousness of the youth crisis here with the European Commission in Brussels.”

“Emigration has led to reduced youth unemployment levels in Ireland, and it has also led to drops in the number of young people in the labour force and the number of young people in employment.”  

“We have seen a slight pick-up in employment levels over the past few years but this has mainly been amongst older workers, over the age of 35. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for younger workers; in fact there are now 29,800 less young people, under the age of 24, in-employment since this government took office.

“If we are serious about keeping our young people at home, and enticing our emigrant’s back, it is crucial that we move towards investing in our young people, in the creation of quality jobs in a long-term perspective.”

“A genuine effort should be immediately made to encourage young entrepreneurs and provide easier access to credit, a focus on further funding emerging and potential employment sectors, and adequate investment in the public sector and state services, these are just some of the areas which Fine Gael and Labour should be looking at to address the current youth crisis in Ireland.

“In order to create quality jobs and genuinely reduce youth unemployment levels, we need to have intelligent investment in our young people. The failure to do so, as I have previously stated, will be more emigration and less people in-employment, and that outcome will have severely adverse effects on the Irish economy and Irish society in the future.” 

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