Written Answers. - Research on Labour Market.

John Bruton

Question:

38 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Labour the action that has been taken by the Government on the agenda for research on the Irish labour market in regard to unemployment, employment and labour supply, as set out in the National Economic and Social Council report, The Nature and Functioning of Labour Markets in Ireland; and if he proposes to have any discussions with the council to monitor progress in conducting research on the agenda items mentioned above.

In their report,The Nature and Functioning of Labour Markets, published in December 1988, NESC identified three broad aspects of the labour market which required analysis, as follows: (i) unemployment — the causes of the increase in and persistence of Irish unemployment; (ii) employment — the determinants of employment at the industry and the enterprise level and (iii) labour supply — in particular, the implications of emigration and the labour supply of married women.

Since the council identified these research topics in 1988, it has undertaken a programme of studies. First, the council have had a technical study of the growth of unemployment completed. The council drew on this work in preparing their report strategy for the nineties and, in particular, in formulating their policies for employment and the labour market in that report. The council did not publish this study separately because of its highly technical nature. A part of the study was, however, published in the Economic and Social Review for July, 1990.

Second, the council investigated the possibility of a study on the determinants of employment at the industry and enterprise level. However, the council considered that there was insufficient data for a detailed study of this topic.
Third, the council have had separate studies undertaken on emigration and on female labour force participation. The emigration study has been completed, it is currently being considered by the council and it will be submitted to the Government shortly and published in the normal way.
The council's study on female labour force participation has also been completed. It will be discussed by the council shortly and will be submitted by the NESC to the Government in due course.