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"Employment in Ireland: composition, growth and future prospects. Discuss."

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Introduction

Table of Contents: Title Introduction..........................................................................Page 3 Employment Growth...............................................................Pages 4 -9 * The Labour Force................................................................Pages 4 - 7 Population Growth & Emigration/Immigration.........................Pages 4 - 5 Graph 1: "Irish Population Aged 15 - 64 Years, 1980 - 2001".........Page 5 Female Labour Force Participation.........................................Pages 5 - 6 Table 1: "Female Labour Force Participation Rates (000's)"..........Page 6 Labour Force Education......................................................Pages 6 - 7 * General Growth..................................................................Pages 7 - 9 Table 2: "Total at work, Unemployed, Labour Force and Net Migration 1986-2000"...............................................Page 8 Graph 2: "Employment in Ireland 1986 - 2001".........................Page 9 Composition:.......................................................................Pages 9 -11 * Employment by sector.........................................................Pages 9 - 10 Table 3: "Employment in Ireland by Sector, 1980 -2000"............Page 10 * Part-Time and Temporary Employment.................................Pages 10 - 11 Graph 3: "Part Time employed men and women as % of all women and men in Ireland and EU 1986 - 2001"................Page 11 Future Prospects...............................................................Pages 12 - 13 Conclusion.......................................................................Pages 13 - 14 Bibliography....................................................................Pages 14 - 15 Introduction: "Employment in Ireland: composition, growth and future prospects. Discuss." In order to answer this question in a detailed manner, I have chosen to concentrate my focus on three particular time periods in Irish economic history, namely the 1980's, 1990's and 2000 onwards (i.e. the present day). The periods of the 1980's and 1990's represent two completely different economic periods in Irish economic history, and convey the massive turnaround the Irish economy experienced, from economic depression and low levels of employment in the 1980's, to the economic boom and soaring employment levels of the 1990's, a period known now as "The Celtic Tiger".

Middle

But even when levels of economic activity revived from 1987 onwards, employment was slow to respond - Tansey, Paul (1998). The 1990's showed a remarkable turnaround in Irish economic fortunes, with growth in GDP amounting to 79% over the decade, giving rise to increases in employment in the 1990's, to a marked fall in unemployment, as can be seen from Table 2 below, with a fall from 228,000 unemployed in 1986, to just 65,000 in 2001. Table 2: Total at work,Unemployed, Labour Force and Net Migration 1986-2001 Year At Work Unemployed Labour Force Unemployment Rate Net Migration 000's 000's 000's % 000's 1986 1,080 228 1,308 17.4 -28 1987 1,090 233 1,323 17.6 -23 1988 1,090 215 1,308 16.7 -42 1989 1,088 201 1,289 15.6 -44 1990 1,134 176 1,310 13.4 -23 1991 1,134 208 1,342 15.5 -2 1992 1,139 221 1,289 16.3 2 1993 1,183 220 1,310 15.7 0 1994 1,221 211 1,342 14.7 -5 1995 1,282 177 1,360 12.1 -2 1996 1,329 179 1,403 11.9 8 1997 1,380 159 1,432 10.3 15 1998 1,495 127 1,459 7.8 23 1999 1,591 97 1,508 5.7 19 2000 1,671 75 1,539 4.3 20 2001 1,717 65 1,622 3.7 26 Source: Labour Force Survey 1986 - 2001. During this period, employment was at 95%, well above the EU average and employment grew at 5% per annum for the previous five years. As can be seen from graph 2 below, there was a substantial increase in employment during the years 1986 and 2001, with employment in 1986 at 1,028,000 workers, rising in 2001 to almost full levels, of 1,717,000 workers in 2001.

Conclusion

and skilled workforce.5 Conclusion: The period of 1980 to the present day in terms of economic growth and employment growth is unique in Irish history. Never before has Ireland experienced such a turnaround in economic fortunes, from the depression and recession, high unemployment rates and low living standards of the 1980's, to the economic boom, almost full employment levels and living standards above the EU average of the mid to late1990's, as outlined above. Ireland has come an extremely long way in terms of employment levels, although recently this extraordinary growth has seemed to level off, to relatively normal growth rates in relation to the rest of the EU. As outlined above, female participation rates in employment have increased, Ireland's workforce is becoming highly educated and has moved into a more knowledge and information based environment. This period in Irish economic history is unlikely to be repeated. The long-term outlook for the future is good, with an average annual growth rate equal to the EU average expected. 1 The unemployment rate peaked at approximately 17% of the Irish labour force in 1986, according to the Central Statistics Office. 2 Part time work in Ireland is described as those workers who work less then 30 hours a week. 3 Temporary employment is defined as where a worker is employed by a firm under a fixed-term contract. - O' Hagan, J. W., (ed.), (2000) 4 ESRI Medium Term Review 2001 - 2007. 5 As mentioned previously, companies now look at a highly educated workforce as an extremely valuable asset and as a means of competitive advantage. 1

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