Census study highlights worrying trends and policy challenges

The CSO recently published part 2 in a series of summary results from Census 2016 covering areas such as employment, socio-economic groups, skills, labour force participation and health.  This document highlights some very challenging trends in Ireland.  This data should guide and inform policy making in the areas of employment, education and training, caring, health and transport. 

The CSO highlight a number of very concerning trends and we highlight two below:

Employment

The document points to some worrying trends in terms of employment nationally.  It highlights the huge regional variations in terms of employment and unemployment, something that Social Justice Ireland has regularly pointed out in our Quarterly Employment Monitor.  The Central Statistics Office publication also contains very important information regarding skill levels across the country which should inform education and training policy.  For example Monaghan, Wexford and Offaly are the counties with the highest proportion of people classified as unskilled in the country.

Caring

The CSO report shows that 4.1 per cent of the population classify themselves as unpaid carers, 195,263 people.  The number of older carers has also increased and almost 1 in 10 people aged 50-54 in Ireland are providing unpaid care.  These stark figures point to the needs for investment in areas such as respite care, community care, home help services and step down care to meet the needs of our gradually ageing population.  Our recent Socio-Economic Review chapter on healthcare makes a number of proposals regarding policies and services required to meet needs as demographics change.  

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