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Employment in the construction sector rebounded rapidly in the first quarter of this year, showing an increase of 9,500 new jobs, a rise of 7.8 percent. This is an increase of 28,000 jobs since the first quarter of 2012.
However, as the economic recovery continues, a worrying trend can be seen with regard to employment in urban hubs versus the regions. The figures released today show a stark contrast between unemployment figures in Dublin, standing at 6.9 percent and regional locations, with the south-east unemployment rate standing at 12.5 percent.
Director General of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Tom Parlon welcomed today’s jobs figures: “these impressive jobs growth figures show that our members are now seen as a destination of choice for young people seeking careers. The industry that has emerged from the recession is very different to that of the past. Careers in construction are now globally transferrable and very rewarding. We are seeing huge increases in areas such as project management, trades, management and increasingly marketing. Due to a lack of activity in the housebuilding side for the moment-particularly in the regions- that must be addressed, employment growth is occurring in civil engineering, contracting and in trades as the industry ramps up to meet the demand of Ireland’s rapidly growing economy and population.
While this figure is still below the peak employment seen by our industry of 273,900 in 2007, we are delighted that employment continues to rise across all sectors of the industry. Our industry in particular is a major contributor to Ireland’s economic growth. We are now creating jobs at the rate of approximately 1,000 per month. We want to see this continue throughout the year and call on the Government and the new Minister for Housing to support our industry via infrastructure and employment policies. We have asked the Government to review the Public Capital Programme and announce time frames for existing infrastructural projects so that our industry can gear up accordingly and hire the right people with the right skills.”
“For our part, the CIF have set up a new website, apprentices.ie that aims to match employers and job seekers to suitable apprenticeships across the country. We hope this will go some way to upskilling those signing on to the live register and open up new career opportunities.”
“A concern from today’s announcement is the number of people still unemployed across the regions outside of Dublin, owing to a lopsided economic recovery. The new Government must do more to spread growth outside of the Greater Dublin Area and provide job opportunities regionally. This can only be achieved with a focus on improving regional infrastructure. We will not attract further FDI to the regions unless essential road, rail, water and other vital infrastructural upgrades occur. Only then will regional communities and youths reap the benefit of higher quality jobs.
Last week, the CIF released an analysis showing that many infrastructure projects in the regions were delayed or at risk of not being completed. This will only exacerbate the two tier recovery – significant investment in water, road, transport and housing is required in the regions or they will continue to stagnate and people will continue to migrate to Dublin.
For further information, please contact
Rosalind Travers: [email protected] / 087 100 10 39