Limerick has worst level of unemployment blackspots

EIGHT OF IRELAND'S TOP 10 BLACKSPOTS IN LIMERICK CITY

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Limerick has worst level of unemployment blackspots

Minister Simon Coveney launched the progress report on Regeneration last December

LIMERICK city still has the highest number of unemployment blackspots in the country, a new CSO report has revealed.

According to Census 2016 figures released by the Central Statistics Office this Thursday afternoon, there are 18 unemployment blackspots in Limerick — twice as much as any other region in Ireland.

The census’ unemployment figures show that eight Limerick blackspots are in the top 10 worst blackspots in the country. There are 79 unemployment blackspots in the country.

The John’s A electoral division is, by a large margin, the worst blackspot in the country, with a glaring unemployment rate of 58.3% — an increase 1.5% since Census 2011.

Galvone B, Ballynanty, Abbey C, Prospect B, and Glentworth C are next on the list of Ireland’s worst unemployment blackspots, with unemployment rates ranging from 40.2% to 45%.

St Laurence and Kileely A electoral districts are 7th and 8th on the list, with unemployment rates of 39.2% and 38.8% unemployment rates, respectively.

Rathkeale is the only Limerick county area with an unemployment blackspot, of 31.1%, a large decrease on 2011 figures at 39.3%.

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan described the figures as “stark” and “shocking”.

“This paints a grim picture of the unemployment problem in many parts of Limerick, which is not being reflected by government statistics.

“Although jobs are being created, it is clear some areas are benefitting while others continue to suffer from a lack of jobs and opportunities.

“The average unemployment rate in these areas in Limerick stood at 35.7%, miles apart from the national average of 12.9% outlined in the Census.”

In December, Fine Gael deputy leader and former Housing Minister Simon Coveney launched a progress review of the Regeneration programme.

The 300-page report stated: “An examination of the local economic environment provides a stark reminder of the challenge that exists, particularly in the regeneration areas.”

It added that the ability to address the unemployment problem in the city is key to the delivery of the Regeneration plan. Since its inception, Regeneration has spent at least €260m in St Mary’s Park, Moyross, Southill, and Ballinacurra-Weston.

The average unemployment rate in the blackspots is at 35.7%, a decrease almost 8% since 2011.