Swords excels on jobs front

by Gazette Reporter

THE latest Live Register figures show that Swords recorded the biggest fall in unemployment in the entire Dublin region in September.
There were 3,658 people signing on the Live Register in the town, compared with 4,380 at the same time last year, which amounts to a fall of 730 or 16.48%.
Balbriggan also showed a strong decrease with 4,305 signing on in September, compared to 4,704 at the same time last year. This amounts to a reduction of 399 or 8.48%.
Deputy Brendan Ryan (Lab) welcomed this news saying: “I am very encouraged by the continuing downward trend in unemployment figures in Fingal and throughout the country.
“When I became a TD in 2011, the number of people on the Live Register in both the Balbriggan and Swords region topped 5,000.
“We are now seeing a real decrease and this trend is very positive.
“Under this Government unemployment has been reduced from a high of 15.1%, to the current five-year low of 11.1%. We still have a long way to go but the only route back to prosperity is through job creation and employment.
“The Government’s action plan for jobs and certain activation measures in the Department of Social Protection are playing a progressive role in bringing our unemployment rate down.”
Swords Cllr Ann Devitt (Ind) also welcomed the news, saying: “Any decrease in unemployment figures is welcome. Swords always had a pretty good employment record prior to the recession, and we were well poised for attracting employment into the area when an upturn came.
“This has to be good news, but I think we have to recognise that not all of these jobs are full time jobs or probably as well paying as they were before the recession.”
She went on to say she believed it was easier to find more and better work if you have work, and that it was “nice to see the green shoots” of the budding economy.
“It is obvious around the town as well, you can see it in the restaurants, particularly.
“One would hope that this will trickle down into the retail sector, which I think is still very slow.
“It’s good for the families that have the work, but I’m not so sure that it is going to be sufficient to significantly increase the amount of retail [business] in the town in order to open up the town.”
She said she was particularly concerned about the north end of the town, but said the new jobless figures were good news.
“I have to recognise that the figures that the Government are giving out are being reflected in this area as well.
“They are not just figures that [Minister for Jobs and Enterprise] Richard Bruton is saying are there; they are quite clearly there, and it’s nice that Swords has been an early recipient of these jobs.
“It will make us work even harder to support industry and particularly support new enterprises.”
In Balbriggan, Cllr Malachy Quinn (SF) welcomed the reduction in the Liver Register figures, but questioned the factors attributing to it, saying: “That’s great news for the town of Balbriggan, but the only concern I have is if you look deeper into these figures. Are they being massaged by lower-paid jobs?
“Also it doesn’t account for people actually leaving the town to look for work further afield, but I wouldn’t knock any news like this.”

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