Articles tagged with: Unemployment

Republic of Opportunity or State of Insecurity?

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in Issue 81 Young Adults in Ireland Today, 2017

PdfIconRepublic of Opportunity or State of Insecurity?

James Doorley


On the day of his election as An Taoiseach (June 14th 2017), Leo Varadkar T.D. spoke about creating a ‘republic of opportunity’.1 Although an admirable vision for the country, the evidence suggests that Irish society has a long way to go to make such noble ambitions a reality, particularly for unemployed young people and those struggling to find decent employment. Nearly a decade on from the economic crisis of 2008, Ireland is a different country; the scars of the economic recession are felt through unemployment, debt, cuts in income supports and the withdrawal of social services. As noted by both the National Economic and Social Council (NESC)2 and OECD3 young adults were particularly hard hit by factors such as reduced employment opportunities and insufficient quality education and training opportunities. Ten years on, some analysts argue that Ireland has recovered from the ‘lost decade’ and with this, there may be a perception that the situation for young people in Ireland has improved.4 However, many young people in Ireland still feel marginalised by the economic crisis,5 and increasingly, young people are at the frontline of a radical change in the nature of the labour market, such that in many sectors, the old model of permanent contracts and fixed hours has been replaced by precarious employment.6


Unemployment and the European Union

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Issue 74 Issues for the New EU Parliament?, Poverty & Inequality, Economics

unemploymentSpain's unemployment at hightest level since 1960s © iStockIntroductionIn 2013, unemployment in Germany, at 5.3 per cent, was at its lowest level since reunification. In the same year, Spain’s unemployment rate, 26.4 per cent, was at its highest level since at least the 1960s, before which reliable statistics are more difficult to come by. Austrian unemployment is also low at 4.9 per cent, and though Ireland’s nearest neighbour, the UK, has unemployment of 7.6 per cent this is simply on a par with previous recessions, such as during the early to mid 1990s.1

Unemployment: The Need for a Comprehensive Response

on Thursday, 02 June 2011. Posted in Issue 66 New Dáil: New Dawn?

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Unemployment: The Need for a Comprehensive Response

Bríd O'Brien

April 2011

Highlighting the Scale of Unemployment  © Derek SpeirsIntroduction

There is no doubting that nearly everyone who stood as a candidate in the February 2011 General Election saw employment – its maintenance and creation – as a critical issue to be addressed by the in-coming Dáil. Now that a new Dáil has been elected and a new Government appointed, what should be the focus in tackling unemployment? What is needed to give unemployed people hope for the future as well as proper income and social supports to meet their needs?


Temporary Agency Work: Labour Leasing or Temping?

on Wednesday, 29 October 2008. Posted in Issue 59 In Recession who will be left Stranded?

Brendan MacPartlin SJ
November 2008

pdf Temporary Agency Work: Labour Leasing or Temping?


Protesting in support of Irish Ferry workers

© D. Speirs



The word ‘temping’conjures up an era when young secretarial workers moved from assignment to assignment, almost like a rite of passage, until it was time to take up a desirable employment opportunity and settle down. Nowadays, people in skilled occupations such as nursing and information technology often avail of the services of temping agencies as a way ‘to see the world’.


Retired Self-Employed

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 38 Dying on the Streets, 2000

Mary Purcell lives in a rural parish in the West of Ireland.

Bill Toner S.J. is Director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Dublin.

A Penny-Pinching Pension Scheme

Social Insurance for self-employed persons was introduced in 1988.  This was a progressive move, long overdue.   Before the change, people who chose the option of becoming self-employed people were more at risk of insecurity and poverty in old age than those employed by others.  Many thousands of self-employed, from small shopkeepers to bicycle repair men, were too poor to be able to negotiate their own personal insurance schemes and in old age they became a burden, grudgingly borne, on the state.  In fact, notwithstanding the above title, many of the group on which this article focuses are not actually ‘retired’ since they cannot afford to retire.  But they are at the age at which most of their fellow-citizens have retired.

Training Bottlenecks Hitting Skilled Trades

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 36 Cherishing our Old Folk, 1999

Bill Toner, SJ

December 1999


The recent survey of vacancies by FÁS and Forfas shows that among the occupations most in demand by the Celtic Tiger are skilled maintenance and skilled production workers. At present there are no fewer than 8,100 vacancies for these grades in the Republic. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has tried to get a fitter or electrician or bricklayer to do a small job. In a recent survey, employers reported that the job of skilled tradesperson was the most difficult job to fill. Many tradespersons are being recruited from overseas. The kind of jobs included in this group include electricians, fitters, electronic workers, welders, bricklayers, carpenters and many others.

We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.