Ireland was the first country in Europe to exit the E-U/I-M-F bailout at the end of last year and now the country’s economy is starting to show small signs of recovery. CCTV Correspondent Lourda Sexton reports.
Ireland recovers from economic crisisIreland was the first country in Europe to exit the E-U/I-M-F bailout at the end of last year and now the country's economy is starting to show small signs of recovery. CCTV Correspondent Lourda Sexton reports.
Ireland’s unemployment rate hit a high of 15-point-one percent in February 2012. Fast forward two years and unemployment at the end of May now stands at eleven-point-eight percent.
While unemployment has fallen for eight consecutive quarters, official figures for the first quarter of this year fall short of economist’s forecasts.
Yet analysts remain upbeat about the recovery.
Fergal O’Brien, Head of Policy and Chief Economist at IBEC, said: “We’re seeing improved employment investment activity right across the economy both the indigenous economy, the consumer economy and the export economy. And the more recent indicators we have had since the first quarter of the year such as income tax rates on the number of unemployed people show that we have made progress, again, in putting people back to work.”
In the first quarter of this year, 42,700 more people had a job in Ireland compared to the same period a year ago.
Mark Fielding, Chief Executive, Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association said: “Small and medium businesses are the ones that are going to create the jobs, more so than the foreign direct investment coming in, but it will be in two’s and three’s, so it’s in small numbers but over 200,000 businesses can create those jobs.”
Economists here say that part of the slowdown in employment growth in the first quarter of this year may be caused by a decrease in the number of part time jobs but say this is overall a positive thing when you couple it with a much needed increase in full time employment of 3.3%.