Business Irish

Monday 26 February 2018

OECD tells Government to act on long-term unemployed

Warning comes despite economy moving in right direction

IRELAND’s long term unemployed are at risk of becoming “permanent casualties” of the recession as new and better qualified job seekers take advantage of the recovery, a international think-tank has warned.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) claimed Government plans to tackle unemployment leave the long-term out of work without support.

Its latest economic survey of Ireland also expressed concern that one in five children are living in households where no one works.

“This is the highest proportion in the EU, indicating serious risks of the persistence of social exclusion,” the report, released this morning, said.

“Six years after the crisis began, multiple steps in the right direction are being made, though current plans leave the long-term unemployed without appropriate activation and support.

“Thus, there is a high risk that these people will be simply left behind as permanent casualties of the recession as new and better qualified job seekers, including immigrants, take advantage of the recovery.”

The report, said “decisive interventions” in the labour market are needed to avoid the unemployment rate remaining high for many years to come.

"Higher aggregate demand and job creation are essential for bringing down unemployment.

“But they will not be sufficient. Decisive interventions in labour market policies are also needed to avoid the unemployment rate remaining high for many years to come, risking a rising structural unemployment rate, which would hamper growth and exacerbate inequality and social exclusion."

The report said that the "slow recovery of the Irish economy is leaving behind far too many for far too long."

However, it also said the country had made progress in tackling its public debt.

"Ireland's steadfast commitment to the EU/IMF programme, consistent meeting of fiscal targets and recent maturity extensions on official lending have improved prospects for debt sustainability", the report said.

By Colm Kelpie

Online Editors

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