Tuesday 26 March 2019

OECD warns on Irish unemployment and mortgage arrears

The jobless total has risen in each of the last three quarters, figures show
The jobless total has risen in each of the last three quarters, figures show

Colm Kelpie

THE OECD has warned that more action is needed to get young people off the dole here to avoid the prospect of persistent high long-term unemployment.

The prestigious Paris-based economic think-tank also said it was essential that faster progress is made in tackling mortgage arrears.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecast growth of 1pc this year in Ireland – less than the 1.3pc projected by the Department of Finance.

In its latest report on the global economic outlook, the OECD said Ireland must stick with its austerity budgets if it is to successfully exit the bailout.

“Financial market confidence has improved but the bank lending environment for firms and households remains adverse,” the OECD report said.

“It is essential to make faster progress in dealing with non-performing loans.

“Decisive labour-market reforms are also needed to address the prospect of persistent high long-term unemployment, especially among young people, in particular by putting more resources into activation measures and better aligning skills with employers’ needs.”

The Paris body said GDP will be 1pc this year and 1.9pc in 2014. Unemployment will be 14.3pc and fall to 14.1pc next year.

It said that unemployment would decline only slowly, reflecting in part “persistent skill mismatches”.

Global GDP is expected to increase 3.1pc this year and by 4pc in 2014, the report said.

Across OECD countries, GDP is projected to rise by 1.2pc this year and by 2.3pc in 2014, while growth in non-OECD countries will rise by 5.5pc this year and 6.2pc in 2014.

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