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 through a series of annual measures aimed at improving Ireland’s competitiveness and making it easier for enterprises to do business. Broadly speaking, the Action Plan for Jobs envisages that an extra 20,000 jobs can be created in manufacturing activities, while 30,000 jobs can be created in internationally traded services. These will support a further 50,000 new indirect jobs in the economy.
As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, we have, with the help of Forfás, assessed the job potential of several sectors. These include manufacturing, agri-food, ICT, tourism, Business Process Outsourcing, international financial services, retail, construction and the Green Economy. There is a strong mix of both multinational companies and indigenous SMEs involved in these sectors. Enterprise Ireland has set a target of supporting 10,500 new jobs on a gross basis in 2013, while IDA Ireland aims to generate 13,000 gross new jobs this year.
Both the Department of Finance and the ESRI have recently produced improved employment forecasts for 2013 and 2014. These improved forecasts are supported by the latest employment statistics published by the Central Statistics Office yesterday (26 November) which show that employment increased by 58,000 in the year to Quarter 3 2013, net of a reduction of 3,900 in public sector numbers. This is the fourth Quarter in succession where employment has grown on an annual basis. Increases in employment have been recorded in eight of the fourteen economic sectors categorised by the CSO, including Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing, Construction, ICT, and Accommodation and Food services which are targeted for attention under the Action Plan for Jobs.
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 5,000 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.