Sunday 8 December 2019

OECD: Young and long-term unemployed at risk of being left behind in economic recovery

Daniel McConnel, Political Correspondent

The OECD has warned that young people and the long term unemployed are at risk of being left behind in Ireland's economic recovery.

Concluding that the Government's Action Plan for Jobs plan is largely working, a new review of the  Government's Action Plan for Jobs recommends adjustments in the future to maximise its potential.

"Unless more is done to help the long-term unemployed find jobs, there is a risk that some of the cyclical increase in unemployment may become structural. Creating jobs may not be sufficient to fully absorb the rise in long-term unemployment that took place following the crisis," the report said.

The report, while praising the cross-Government focus to pursuing the job creation agenda, the OECD warned that some regions have very different needs to the Dublin area and more must be done in this area.

It welcomed the quarterly assessment of progress, which was put in train during the Troika bailout, and said this approach must continue.

When asked if Ireland's overly generous welfare system is a barrier to lowering the current rate of unemployment of 11.8pc, OECD officials said the conditionality of allowances must be examined.

The Paris-based OECD said that future improvements to the plan should include introducing a comprehensive performance assessment framework to measure progress towards achieving its strategic objectives.

60,000 jobs were created in Ireland last year, which was the fastest employment growth rate among OECD countries.

Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton said the Government had asked the OECD to examine the action plan for jobs and assess how well it was working. "Given the scale of the jobs challenge we face, it is crucial that we continually learn lessons and improve our efforts in this area," the Minister said

"The OECD’s broad conclusion that the plan is working is very welcome. However they also provide important conclusions on areas where we can make improvements and recommendations for how we can do that. We will be taking these recommendations on board as part of Action Plan 2014 and 2015," Mr Bruton added.


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