New jobs few and far between

Simon Brouder

Kerry's dole queues might be shrinking but new figures suggest the decline has little to do with the creation of new jobs in the county.

The most recent Live Register figures - for October - show that the number of people signing on in Kerry has fallen by 1,513 in the last year.

While the figures from the Central Statistics Office have been welcomed the results of a nationwide survey on new job creation casts a pall over the positive news from the Live Register.

The survey - carried out by website - shows that when it comes to the creation of new job vacancies Kerry is lagging far behind much of the country. Though the number of new job vacancies nationally rose by three per cent in the last year the number of new vacancies in Kerry has plummeted by 20 per cent in the same period. Kerry was one of nine counties where the number of new job vacancies fell in the last 12 months with only Cavan - where new job openings plunged by 41 per cent - faring worse than the Kingdom.

While Cork only saw a modest increase of one per cent Limerick has seen a surge in job creation with the number of vacancies in the city on the Shannon soaring upwards by a massive 43 per cent in the last year.

Kerry now has the second lowest job vacancy rate in the country with only 1.5 job vacancies available per 1,000 employed people in the county.Once again Cavan is worst with a job vacancy rate of only 0.82 per 1,000. It is unclear how Kerry's Live Register could fall so significantly even though few new jobs are being created locally. It is possible that many of those who had been signing on in Kerry left the county to find employment. A large number of those who came off the Kerry register may also have taken up eduction or moved into one of several Government employment activation programmes.