Unemployment session from Friday

Below are links to the unemployment session materials so that this thread can be used for thoughts people have on the contents of the session.


Chair: Minister Joan Burton T.D.

David Bell (Stirling)
Unemployment in the Great Recession: More Misery for the Young?

Aedin Doris (NUIM)
Employment and Unemployment: What do Sectoral and Demographic Patterns Tell Us?

Philip O’Connell (ESRI)
The Impact of Training Programme Type and Duration on the Employment Chances of the Unemployed in Ireland

6 replies on “Unemployment session from Friday”

“Mr Kenny said he was delighted these measures were discussed” – I’ll bet.

http://consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/127599.pdf is the document from last night about taking general measures against unemployment. I assume that our “National Jobs Plan” will be the forthcoming Pathways document?

Also, for anyone who wasn’t at the conference, Colm McCarthy’s presentation addressed so-called labour intensive capital spending. Well worth a listen in the context of unemployment.

@Liam Delaney

Well done on posting these presentation slides. They were excellent presentations and deserve detail consideration by ‘policy makers’.


Colm McCarthy’s presentation addressed so-called labour intensive capital spending. Well worth a listen in the context of unemployment.

Colm McCarthy is an intelligent man. That does not mean he is always right. The fact that some capital projects were white elephants is not a reason for not considering capital projects. It is however a very good excuse for not considering this approach.

But the logic of not using capital projects is that the unemployed are to be condemned to remain unemployed. While the logic of not shifting expenditure from current to capital is that those doing very well, thank you, from current State expenditure get to keep the largesse.

There are 122,000 unfinished housing units in the country with 100,000 building workers on State assistance and as it happens there are almost 100,000 people in need of State housing. The private landlords to these ~100,000 people are in receipt of €500 million per annum rent from the State.
In addition residential rental costs have not reduced anywhere close to where they need to be. There is plenty scope for building and renting.
Further the construction sector of the economy is now down to approx 2.5% versus a European average of approx 7%.

I flatly refuse to concede, based on the facts of the situation, that there is not scope for approx 30,000 people to be employed on work that will give long term economic value (LTEV) to the country.

@David Bell (If you out there).

Excellent presentation.
You should have put up the Robert Burns slide at the conference. I memorised Burn’s comment on Edmund Burke, a very well know Irishman of Burn’s time whose policies clearly did not impress Burn’s.

‘Oft have I wondered, that on Ireland’s ground
No poisonous serpent ever was found.
Revealed at last is great nature’s work
She preserved her poison, to create a Burke.

@ Joseph Ryan

To be honest, I haven’t made my mind up on what he said yet – the ESRI papers he mentioned are on my reading list. I’d be inclined to separate his points about white elephants and labour intensity though.

There is scope for doing something with unfinished houses and a small need for social housing but we have a lot of vacant properties too, so I wouldn’t be concerned with European averages.

I don’t agree with putting 30,000 people back into work in the construction industry. It has an element of can-kicking to it – the focus should be on re-training in sectors which have scope for sustainable growth. Extra current spend on good training programmes and education funding would be a better investment. Aedin Doris’ great presentation showed that there are sectoral imbalances, if we can’t sort the demand problem then the least we can do is position the labour force for an eventual recovery.

@ All,

In case anyone is having difficulty accessing any of the links above – we’ve just changed the format of some of the slides from Powerpoint (.ppt or .pptx) to PDF (um – .pdf) which is better for distribution. So changing the file extension on any broken links from blah/blah.ppt to blah/blah.pdf should work.

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