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Quarterly Employment Monitor - March 2018
Social Justice Ireland's quarterly Employment Monitor, published March 2017, may be accessed here. It deals with the issues of regional balance in employment generation, with a particular focus on the labour market participation rate.
It highlights an anaemic participation rate, despite improving jobs numbers. The labour market participation rate is the proportion of the working-age population that is in employment or actively seeking employment. A low participation rate suggests a substantial number of ‘discouraged workers’, many of whom will have been out of a job for a long time and have lost hope of finding employment. Ireland’s participation rate has fallen from 67.4 per cent to 62.2 per cent in the last decade. But it has fallen by far more in some regions, particularly the Midlands, West and South-West, than in some others. The UK has a participation rate of nearly 79 per cent. This shows just how far the Irish labour market has yet to go. Yes, unemployment numbers are down. But a huge part of that is due to people leaving the labour force altogether.