Category: Archive

Business Briefs: Irish unemployment falls to lowest ever

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Unemployment has fallen again in Ireland — and this time a record has been set. For the first time ever, the number out of work has dropped below 4 percent, and in Dublin it has fallen as low as 2.9. The border counties showed the highest levels, at 5.4. But the Irish National Organization for the Unemployed cautioned that the statistics masked pockets of extremely high unemployment in inner-city areas and some rural communities. Job numbers grew strongly throughout 2000, with the biggest employment creation in building, construction and services, according to the Central Statistics Office.Harney heads upstate Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Mary Harney, is the guest speaker next March 8 at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. Harney will deliver a speech entitled "The Irish Economic Miracle: Prosperity with a purpose," in what will be the fourth annual Oldcastle Inc., lecture on Irish American affairs. Previous speakers have included former U.S. Senator and peace process chairman George Mitchell, and John Hume, M.P., leader of the SDLP.O’Leary attacks again Ryanair’s outspoken CEO, Michael O’Leary, has again attacked the government for not encouraging competition between airlines in Ireland. Announcing Ryanair’s seven newest routes, O’Leary said he was disappointed that none of the routes were from Ireland. ”This is entirely due to the abject failure of the Irish government, and the minister for transport in particular, to encourage competition, low cost or advance the interests of Irish consumers,” he said.More work visas The Irish job agency, FAS, says it is expecting the Irish government to issue more work visas to cope with the demand for workers in Ireland. The chairman of FAS, Brian Geoghegan, said that the economy needs about 370,000 people over the next five years, and a swift and straightforward work permit system is needed to keep a steady flow of skilled workers into the economy. FAS also plans to hold a job fair in New York City, on March 18th — the day after St Patrick’s Day. Shock news: web site makes profit Paddypower.com has announced a turnover of $7.6 million since its launch in June of 2000, and the site had a total of 14,441 account registrations by Feb. 13 of this year, up 18 percent from 12,433 at the end of December 2000. Paddypower.com is an online betting company, owned by Power Leisure Ltd. CEO Stewart Kenny said that the early success showed that the company could pursue even more aggressive advances this year. "The successful flotation ensures that we have the financial flexibility to pursue our on-line growth strategy, utilizing our proven skills in bookmaking, product development and marketing," he said.Jobs lost elsewhere Despite the demand for labor, and the lowest unemployment rate on record, jobs could still be lost in Ireland this year — up to 5000, in fact, according to Davy Stockbrokers. Basing its findings on recent job cuts by high-tech giants Dell and Lucent, Davy suggested that a worldwide downturn for high-tech companies, already witnessed in the United States, could adversely affect the Irish economy. But the report also stressed that in an economy experiencing acute labor shortages, a reduction in the demand for labor would be welcome, "provided that it doesn’t go too far."Down to Dublin On his first visit to Dublin as the new British secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Dr. John Reid listed an impressive series of statistics illustrating the benefits that the period of relative peace has brought since the cease-fire. Economic growth is at 4 percent, one of the highest levels in the UK and Ireland. Unemployment has fallen by 55 percent in the 10 years since 1990. Tourism has boomed, such that in 1995, Northern Ireland actually ran out of accommodations for guests, sparking enormous investment in new hotels and guest house facilities, with spin-off benefits in many parts of the economy. "On the streets, in the bars and restaurants, there is a real confidence that this prosperity, with its firm political foundations, is here to stay," Reid said.Irish-American Scholarships The Irish American Building Society, a not-for-profit organization of real estate and construction professionals, now awards several scholarships every year, each with a value up to $5,000, and all Irish and Irish-Americans, whether members and non-members, are eligible. There is also a $1,000 tuition-assistance award available to families of members only. The number for the IABS is (212) 613-0090.

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