IBEC, the group that represents Irish business, has published a new Jobs Report, which shows that the jobs recovery significantly exceeded expectations in the first half of 2013, with employment increasing by 34,000 compared to Q2 last year.
New IBEC research shows that 8,259 new jobs were announced in the past six months, with over 2,100 jobs announced in September, an annual increase of 31 per cent. Private sector employment has jumped by 1.8 per cent over the past year.
IBEC has stressed the crucial need for Budget 2014 to support the progress made by not increasing excise, VAT, or PRSI. IBEC Head of Policy and Chief Economist Fergal O’Brien said: “The jobs recovery has been better than most expected, but unemployment remains at crisis level. Any excise, VAT, or PRSI increase will directly hit the number of new jobs next year. We simply cannot afford to take more money out of the domestic economy.”
“Irish excise rates are already among the highest in Europe. Any increase would cost jobs, further squeeze struggling consumers and potentially reignite cross-border shopping. The Irish exchequer gains nothing if trade is simply pushed north of the boarder.”
“There is increasing evidence that further tax increases are likely to result in less revenue for the state, not more. Last year’s significant excise increase has not delivered the anticipated return. Government has said the budget will be pro-growth and pro-jobs, but increasing indirect taxes like excise would damage employment in the drinks and hospitality sectors.”
“The reduced VAT level for the hospitality sector and the introduction of a lower employer PRSI rate for low wage workers has worked. It has helped keep many businesses afloat and helped others to expand. A reversal of the 9% VAT rate to 13.5% would cost 10,000 jobs in the economy and undo much of the employment recovery seen in that sector over the past year.”
The IBEC Jobs Report analyses the various national employment statistics, data from IBEC surveys and job announcements to provide an overview of employment trends in the economy. The report says:
The manufacturing sector has provided 33% of all jobs announced. IT has been the most frequent announcer of jobs, with 15 job announcements totaling 1,420 positions (30% of total).
Numbers in long-term unemployment fell 12.3% on an annual basis, but remain unacceptably high at nearly 60% of total unemployment.
The fastest growing sectors were the agriculture, forestry and fishing (+18.6%) and the accommodation and food service activities (+8.0%) sectors.
Numbers on the Live Register have fallen for fourteen consecutive months since June 2012 with 17,000 people coming off the Live Register.