Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Questions (234)

James Browne

Question:

234. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the regions that have not met their regional Action Plan for Jobs target; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13189/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Programme for Partnership Government commitment is to support the creation of 200,000 jobs by 2020, including 135,000 jobs outside of Dublin. 

Regional job creation targets have been set through the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, the primary objective of which is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020 and to ensure the unemployment rate of each region is within one percentage point of the State average. As such, there still remains two years for all regions to reach these targets.

The published targets for jobs to be created, in addition to data from the CSO showing job creation and unemployment rates in each of the 8 NUTSIII regions, are laid out in the following table:

Region

Published Regional APJ targets by 2020

Net new jobs created Q1 2015 –Q2 2017

Unemployment Rate at Q4 2017

North East/North West

28,000

12,000

4.9%

Midland

14,000

9,500

7.7%

West

25,000

15,500

5.9%

Dublin

66,000

48,200

6.1%

Mid-East

25,000

19,300

5.2%

Mid-West

23,000

16,600

6.6%

South-East

25,000

16,200

7.3%

South-West       

40,000

29,400

6.2%

State

246,000

166,800

6.1%

Over the year to Q2 2017, CSO data shows an increase of 53,500 people in employment across the State since Q2 2016, with 84% of this increase in numbers employed outside Dublin. All regions have seen increases in numbers employed in the year to Q2 2017; all regions also saw a decrease in numbers unemployed.

While overall results are strong, it is clear that not all regions are improving at the same rate, and there is no room for complacency. The unemployment rate in two of the regions (Midlands: 7.7% and South East: 7.3%) is, at Q4 2017, at least 1 percentage point above the State average of 6.1%. A continued focus on these regions is required to ensure they are being supported to achieve their economic potential.

It should be noted that the introduction of a new methodology for calculating labour market statistics by the CSO through the Q3 2017 Labour Force Survey (formerly Quarterly National Household Survey) has resulted in a “break” in the regional series, such that previous Quarters are not comparable over time with the most recent Q3/Q4 results. Q2 2017 and previous Quarters are therefore used to describe longer term trends at regional level.

As set out in the national Action Plan for Jobs 2018, my Department will be working with the Regional Implementation Committees for the Regional Action Plans for Jobs over the coming weeks and months to refresh and refocus those Plans, maintaining the emphasis on delivery of regional jobs targets to 2020.