SEVEN of the country’s ten worst unemployment blackspots are in Limerick city according to new figures published by the Central Statistics Office.
The figures, which were collated from last year’s Census show that Saint Mary’s Park and O’Malley Park are the only two areas in the country where more than half the working population are unemployed.
According to the figures, 55.8% of adults in the John’s A electoral division, which encompasses St Mary’s Park, stated they were unemployed when the Census was conducted in April 2011.
Meanwhile, 55.2% of adults in the Galvone B electoral division, (O’Malley Park) said they were not working.
The Ballynanty (47.2%), Rathbane (46.5%) electoral divisions also feature in the list of the country’s top five unemployment blackspots.
The figures show that Limerick city has a total of 17 umeployment blackspots - which the highest for any local authority area in the country.
Other electoral divisions listed as being unemployment blackspots include Prospect A (46.4%) Glentworth C (46.1%), Abbey C (44.7%), John’s B (43.3%), Kileely A (42.7) and Shannon B (41.9%).
In addition to having the highest number of uneployment blackspots, the Census figures also reveal that Limerick city as a whole had the highest unemployment rate in the country in April 2011 at 28.6%.
Reacting to the figures, Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan said there is an urgent need for the government to take action to invest in growth and jobs in the city.
“Limerick has consistently been denied its fair share of investment for job creation under the last Fianna Fail-led Government and this current Fine Gael / Labour Government is continuing the same policy of neglect,” he said.
“Limerick city at 28.6% has the highest level of unemployment in the state. Out of 38 Electoral divisions in the City 18 of them are considered unemployment blackspots. We have more the twice the number of unemployment black spots then Dublin City has, this is a scandal,” added councillor Quinlivan.