Trade Unions Demand Job Creation Move

A major investment and job creation programme is urgently required to combat rising unemployment, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said.

The call on Monday for a new jobs plan came as official figures confirmed that the number of people at work continues to decline as unemployment increases.

Congress Chief Economist Paul Sweeney said Government now had to focus all its energy on getting people back to work.

"We urgently need a major new jobs plan from Government. The continued imposition of austerity is decimating the economy and the recent budget will only serve to make the situation worse. It will cost us more jobs.

"The latest figures confirm a very worrying and dangerous trend, with long-term unemployment rising to 56.3% from 47% last year.

"That is quite shocking and indicative of the huge damage being done to both economy and society by current policies," Paul Sweeney said.

"We need a major programme of investment and job creation. While Government has expressed interest in attracting investment from private pension funds, as we suggested before the budget, they now need to move on initiatives like this as a matter of urgency. There will be a huge social and economic price to pay if we fail to act now."

The call came as Ireland's unemployment rate rose again in the third quarter of 2011, according to official figures published on Monday.

The findings from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that in the third quarter of this year unemployment had hit 14.4%, up from 14.2% in the previous quarter.

The Central Statistics Office said the number of people at work fell by 2.5%, or 46,000, over the previous 12 months to just over 1.8 million.

Meanwhile, the CSO's quarterly national household survey also showed that the long-term unemployment rate increased from 6.5% to 8.4% over the year.


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