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Enda Kenny at the launch of the sixth Action Plan for Jobs launch today. Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Bruton: Welcomes Action Plan for Jobs progress but people are still struggling

Figures show that the unemployment rate has dropped below 14 per cent for the first time since 2010.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS published its sixth Action Plan for Jobs progress report – a plan they implemented to help rebuild the economy after 250,000 jobs were lost following the collapse of the economy.

It shows that 160 out of 180 measures they promised would be delivered in April, May and June this year have been implemented – a success rate of 89 per cent.

Among the measures delivered were:

  • JobsPlus – a scheme to provide regular cash payments to employers to offset wage costs where they employ people who have been on the Live Register for over 12 months.
  • A new €175 million ‘Seed and Venture Capital Scheme’, aimed at leveraging private sector funds to provide a total of €700 million in funding to Irish companies with the potential to grow employment.
  • The start of a roll-out of 31 local enterprise offices across the country.
  • Additional reviewers for the Credit Review Office recruited to help improve credit supply for small business.
  • The launched of a ‘National Step Change Initiative’ for manufacturing businesses, as part of a plan to supply 20,000 additional jobs in this sector.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton explained that of the 20 projects which did not meet their targets, a few missed it “by a whisker”.

If viewing on a mobile device, please click here to listen to this clip

Since the Action Plan for Jobs was rolled out in early 2012, official employment figures show that the private sector has been adding an average of more than 2,000 jobs per month.

The figures also show that the unemployment rate has dropped from 14.1 per cent to 13.7 per cent – the first time since 2010 it has gone below 14 per cent.

The numbers of people unemployed has dropped below 300,000 for the first time since 2010, while the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 9.5 per cent to 8.4 per cent in the past year.

The Minister Bruton said they are starting to see real progress with the plan to rebuild the economy after 250,000 jobs were lost during the collapse of the economy  but he acknowledged that “many people have yet to feel the effects of this progress and that many people are really struggling”.

Since the Action Plan for Jobs was first put in place an average of 2,000 jobs per month are being created in the private sector. Irish and multinational exporting companies had record years in 2012, and recent figures show that this strong performance is continuing in 2013, with major announcements by companies like Glanbia, eBay and Symantec, added the jobs minister.

Read: 75 new regional jobs created through reward scheme>

More: Government launches plan to get 75,000 unemployed back to work>

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