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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland Richard Bruton, Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore at Government Buildings yesterday

‘Relentless pursuit’: Kenny hopes unemployment will be under 10 per cent by 2016

“This is a collective responsibility and an attack on creating job opportunities by government and all its agencies,” Enda Kenny said yesterday.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said that yesterday’s positive employment figures are the start of a “relentless pursuit of opportunities for job creation” as he outlined a hope to have unemployment under 10 per cent by the next general election.

Kenny was speaking after figures published by the CSO yesterday showed that unemployment is down to 12.8 per cent with 58,000 jobs added over the past year.

The government’s own labour market targets – produced in Budget 2014 documents last month – show an expectation that unemployment will be down to 11.4 per cent by 2016.

But speaking at Government Buildings, Kenny said he hoped to get joblessness below 10 per cent by the time of the general election, which is pencilled in for spring of 2016.

“I hope that it will be below ten per cent certainly by 2016 when the general election occurs,” he said, though cautioning that he cannot “predict the future” or what might happen in the wider European economy .

Kenny pointed to renewed confidence in the agriculture sector where he said there are “real opportunities for new jobs” to be created and also pointed out that the construction sector showed growth in September for the first time since the crisis.

Speaking about the government’s agenda, he continued: “This is a collective responsibility and an attack on creating job opportunities by government and all its agencies.”

Kenny said that he hoped next year would see the government “push to open” the so-called ‘sheltered areas’ of the economy, which he said will involve enacting the Legal Service Bill, to reform the legal sector, and the enactment of the Companies Bill which he said will “reduce the administrative burden” on companies.

‘Very encouraging’: Fall in unemployment to lowest level since 2009 welcomed

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