Long-term and youth unemployment must be priority.
High business costs stalling employment growth.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, expressed disappointment at the CSO Live Register Figures (7th of August). The slowdown in job creation is due to the expectation of increased business costs and wage pressures. The Association called on the Government to stop electioneering and tackle the obstacles impeding employment growth.
The latest seasonally adjusted Live Register figures confirm that 343,100 people are still signing on the dole. Long-term claimants account for increased 45.5% of the total.
Commenting on the figures, ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, said, "Government has expected business to continue creating employment despite the serious obstacles being placed in their way. The impending minimum wage increase, in particular, is stopping SMEs from expanding their workforce. Jobs will not be created while SMEs are expecting cost increases, through minimum wage, sick pay, paternity and parental leave."
"The issues of long-term and youth unemployment are of particular significance as both these groups run the risk of becoming highly unemployable, due to a lack of recent relevant job experience. Government activation schemes must be increased to tackle the rising numbers of people in these categories."
The Association called on the Government to:
Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work.
Assign a welfare officer to every person who is unemployed long-term and ensure that they are offered a place on an activation scheme which they may not refuse.
"The Government must help create a positive environment in which to create jobs. This will not be achieved while government politicians, scared of losing their seats, continue to pile on costs on SMEs, in an effort to buy the election", concluded Fielding.