Rural towns are left behind as numbers at work below pre-crash levels
The number of people at work remains below pre-crash levels in more than 70 towns across the State.
New figures show how the economic recovery has left vast swathes of rural Ireland behind, with fewer people working in all towns in Offaly and Roscommon in 2016 compared with 2006 when the economy was thriving.
The figures highlight how overall some 76,599 more jobs are present in the cities, towns and villages examined, but there are wide disparities.
They show that of 168 settlements for which data is available, the number of people in employment rose in 96 and fell in 71.
There was no change in one, Listowel in Co Kerry.
This means more than 40pc of towns and villages have not managed to secure additional employment over the period, but worryingly, it also reveals that job losses have not been regained in some of our cities where a recovery might have been expected.
In Co Limerick, there were 2,791 fewer people employed in 2016 compared with a decade previously, a drop of more than 7pc. In Co Waterford, the numbers at work were 1,050 below 2006 levels, down almost 2.5pc.
Large towns including Sligo (down 1,537), Ennis in Co Clare (down 931) and Clonmel in Co Tipperary (down 751) have also failed to recover.