My Department does not undertake employment forecasts. However, the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs has set the objective of supporting the creation of 100,000 extra jobs in the economy over the period 2012 to 2016 with an overall target of 2 million people in sustainable employment by 2020, through a series of annual measures aimed at improving Ireland’s competitiveness and making it easier for enterprises to do business. Data from the Central Statistics Office show that employment increased by 58,000 in the year to Quarter 3 2013. Employment in the private sector increased by 61,900 when account is taken of a reduction of 3,900 in public sector numbers. This was the fourth consecutive Quarter where an increase in employment was recorded.
We have now moved from a situation where the private sector was losing over 7,000 jobs per month before this Government came to office, to the present situation where it is creating close to 1,200 jobs per month. I am currently preparing the 2014 Action Plan on behalf of the Government and we will continue, through that process, to build on the success of the actions we have taken over the last two years.