Four out of every 10 people under 25 years old are without work


FOUR IN 10 young people under the age of 25 were unemployed at the time of the 2011 census, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday.

The latest CSO data, which concentrates on people at work, shows that more than 82,000 people between 15 and 24 were not working in April 2011.

The rate of youth unemployment rose by 74 per cent between the 2006 and 2011 censuses, with 39 per cent of those aged 15-24 recorded as being without work in April last year.

Unemployment among men in this age category almost doubled in that period to 50,440 from 26,448, meaning the unemployment rate among young males stood at 45 per cent last April.

Among women in the same age group, unemployment increased from 20,674 in 2006 to 31,713 – yielding an unemployment rate of 32 per cent.

Limerick city and Co Donegal had the highest levels of youth unemployment, with rates of 50 and 49 per cent respectively, while the jobless rate in Co Wexford stood at 47 per cent.

Almost 70,000 of those 15-24-year-olds out of work had finished their education. However, there was significant variation in unemployment levels depending on the level of education completed.

For the 4,732 people who were educated to primary level only, the unemployment rate was 70 per cent. For those who had completed lower secondary level (Junior Cert), the rate stood at 65 per cent. Those with an upper secondary education had an unemployment rate of 39 per cent, while the rate for the 7,534 people with third-level qualifications was significantly lower at 18 per cent.

The lowest youth unemployment rate, 27 per cent, was recorded in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, while Fingal, Cork county and Galway city were also at the lower end of the spectrum.

A total of 34,166 people were looking for their first regular job in April 2011, more than 60 per cent of whom were 15-24. Of the 8,622 15-19 year olds in this category, 5,424 were male.

Just over a quarter of first-time jobseekers were foreign nationals, the majority from Eastern Europe, while British, Nigerians, Brazilians and Indians also featured.

Of the 6,941 people with a third-level qualification looking for their first job, almost one in five had a qualification in business and administration. A further 9 per cent had an arts qualification. Almost 400 people with a third-level qualification in architecture were looking for their first regular job.

The wider census results show that, although the labour force grew by 5.8 per cent in the past five years, the numbers at work declined by over 6 per cent to 1,807,369 in the same period.

The number of people unemployed increased dramatically from 150,084 to 390,677 between 2006 and 2011. Combined with people looking for their first job, the total number out of work stood at 424,843 in April 2011.

The unemployment rate jumped from 8.5 per cent in 2006 to 19 per cent in 2011.

The rate of unemployment among foreign nationals in 2011 stood at 22 per cent compared with an unemployment rate of 18.5 per cent among Irish people.

The census pointed to a much higher employment rate among people who spoke English well or very well than those who had inferior English-language abilities; almost one-third of the 67,531 people who either could not speak English well or could not speak English at all were unemployed.

Of the more than 35,000 people in employment who did not speak English well or at all, the largest group (4,149 people) were cleaners, followed by 6 per cent who worked as kitchen or catering assistants. A similar cohort worked as food, drink or tobacco operatives.