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Thursday 28 August 2014

Rate of jobless households is 'far above' the norm in EU

Nicola Anderson

Published 19/06/2014 | 02:30

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ALMOST a quarter of Irish households are currently jobless – a level "far above" the European norm in a situation described as "not acceptable" by the Taoiseach.

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A new report by a Government-sponsored think tank has found that 23pc of Irish households are jobless, compared to a European average of just 11pc, and that 56pc of Irish jobless households have children.

The National Economic and Social Council warned that these households have a high risk of poverty, with the danger of passing on joblessness and poverty across generations.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has now pledged to break the cycle and reiterated the Government's commitment to "continue the plan to dismantle the passive welfare system" which had "abandoned such large numbers of households to lifelong dependency on the State".

"This is essential if we are to break the cycle of poverty and unemployment associated with jobless households," he said.

The report, 'Jobless Households: An Exploration of the Issue', found that those who live in jobless households are more likely to have no educational qualifications, to have never worked or to be in the unskilled social class.

They are also more likely to be renting their accommodation, to be single or parenting alone, and to either have a disability or to live with someone with a disability.

The NESC has pointed out that because of the multiple reasons for joblessness, a one-solution-fits-all approach will not work and that packages of support must reflect individual needs.

Adult literacy, child development, family supports, addiction services, disability services, housing, education and training, public and community employment as well as engagement with employers must all form part of a tailored service to cater for people's circumstances, the NESC said.

Helen Johnston, author of the report (pictured), explained that the reasons for household joblessness are complex – but the age, level of education and health of the adults in the household are all factors.

Irish Independent

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