07 March 2008

Most new Jobs are for Women

Women have been more than twice as successful as men in finding a job in the Irish labour market over the past year. According to the latest Quarterly National Household Survey from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Dublin, new jobs for women were responsible for almost 70% of the growth in employment.

The CSO reports that a total of 66,800 new jobs were created in the Republic of Ireland during the analysed 12-months period ending last November. However, the picture is not as positive as it might look at first sight.
More than half of the new jobs offered only part-time employment, and 60% of them resulted from a surge in self-employment (which is encouraged and promoted by several government agencies and the Department of Social and Family Affairs).

In the same time period the number of men employed in Ireland fell by almost 10,000. This is the alarming part of the statistic, as it shows that the number of traditional jobs for Irish men, mostly in manufacturing and transport, is still in a steady decline.
Long-established Irish businesses have closed over the past few years - even during the boom time of the "Celtic Tiger" - or transfered their manufacturing jobs to the low-wage countries in the so-called "third world". Despite the happy sunshine talk from the government, Ireland is losing its competitiveness, and subsequently many skilled workers lose their job.

Many of the new jobs created - often with massive public announcements and huge PR - are in fact only low-paid part-time positions, predominantly in retail, service and food businesses. They are specifically tailored for unskilled or low-skilled labour and prefer to employ women, who are much easier willing to take part-time jobs than men.

Even though the country is still awash with surplus money and most people think that we never had it so good, the clouds of economic decline have been gathering over Ireland already for the past three years. The recently published employment data from the CSO underline this trend with clear figures, and it remains to be seen if the government will react in a positive way and make sure that there is enough employment for skilled Irish men (as well as for the women).

The Emerald Islander

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