Opinion David McWilliams

Saturday 24 February 2018

David McWilliams: Dead-end street politics -- we won't accept pay cuts so now we're stuck

Take a walk through any medium-sized town in Ireland, particularly down the little uninspiring streets off the main drag, the streets named after lesser patriots, second-rate saints or the next small town you'd get to if you kept walking. There you will see them, the real victims of the recession: young men and women with nothing to do.

The CSO just released figures on the state of the jobs market and the movement in wages and what we see is that 200,000 people in Ireland are now long-term unemployed. This means that they have been out of work for more than a year. At the beginning of the recession, the vast majority of people losing their jobs were men. This was mainly the result of the collapse in house building and the evaporation of jobs on the sites.

In the past year, this has changed. We are seeing the rapid feminisation of unemployment. In the 12 months to June, long-term unemployment among women rose more than three times faster than among men. Male long-term unemployment went up by 4pc, while it shot up 13.6pc for women. In total, four out of 10 unemployed people have been out of work for more than a year.

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