Jobs growth faster than expected – Central Bank
EMPLOYMENT will grow at a faster pace than was expected earlier in the year, the Central Bank said yesterday.
It claimed the rise in the number of people in jobs was the clearest sign of the recovery, as it launched its latest quarterly bulletin gauging the health of the economy.
Officials said the jobs recovery is broad-based, and is not only related to part-time roles. But it said it did believe that the bulk of the new jobs may be in lower-paid sectors.
The Bank said the economy would grow 2pc this year, with exports remaining the important driver of growth. But domestic demand and strong investment is also set to play a contribution on the back of the stronger jobs figures.
Employment is now expected to rise 2.6pc in 2014 – up from the 2pc jump forecast in January. And the unemployment rate will dip to 11.3pc, below January's prediction of 11.9pc.
John Flynn, head of the economic analysis unit, said the employment data gave the most visible evidence of recovery.
"We've seen pretty strong employment growth over the last 18 months or so," he said.
"At first, this employment growth was mainly in part-time jobs but for over a year now we've seen fairly strong growth in full-time employment and that growth has been broadly based, which is quite positive."
But the Bank said that the bulk of the new jobs may be in lower-paid sectors, meaning there may be little overall upwards pay pressure.
However, the Central Bank said Budget 2015 must convince international investors that Ireland remains committed to austerity amid targets from Europe to reduce the budget deficit to below 3pc of the value of the economy by next year.
Key figures from the bulletin include:
* GDP to rise 2pc this year and 3.2pc next year
* Personal spending up 1.1pc this year and 1.3pc in 2015
* Investment up 11.1pc in 2014, falling back to 10.2pc in 2015
* Exports at 3pc this year.
* Unemployment rate to fall to 11.3pc.