Business Irish

Monday 16 January 2017

Ireland set to hit EU employment target

Published 19/07/2016 | 12:26

Enda Kenny. Photo: PA
Enda Kenny. Photo: PA

Ireland is set to hit its employment growth target for 2020, according to latest statistics released by Eurostat.

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The European Commission (EC) has set the country a target of 69pc employment by 2020. Ireland’s current employment rate stands at 68.8pc for people aged between 20 and 64.

Germany, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania have already hit their employment target, and Ireland’s robust growth means it is likely to be the fifth country to have met the EC objective.

Figures for 2015 show that there were 1.899,500 people between the ages of 15 and 64 employed in Ireland.

The EU has revised its overall employment target down to 72pc , having initially set a continent-wide figure at 75pc.

The report noted that an increase in employed people here between the ages of 54 and 65 had resulted in an increase in the rate of youth unemployment. While this was a trend seen across the EU, the report cited Ireland, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands as countries where it was particularly pronounced.

Youth unemployment is more than double the average unemployment rate across the EU, with 20pc of those aged between 15 and 24 counted as jobless, compared with 9pc for the rest of the workforce.

The working age population (20-64) across the continent is expected to fall by 4.3 million between now and 2020, and the report states that the addition of more workers over the age of 54 into the workforce could help reduce this number.

It was also stated that more women and young people should be added to the workforce over the next four years.

In addition, the availability of low-skilled cheap migrant labourers from outside the EU was also raised as a possible way to boost employment.

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