Ireland’s employment rate has surpassed pre-pandemic levels with 2,505,800 people in work in the first quarter of the year (2022).
According to a progress report on the Taoiseach’s Department of Economic Recovery Plan 2021, Ireland has seen strong economic growth since the plan was launched, despite the recurring impacts of Covid-19 and other geopolitical events.
The central ambition of the plan was to get 2.5 million people to work and to focus on jobs in new areas linked to sustainability, which can help Ireland become a low-carbon economy.
The data shows that the employment level at the end of March 2022 is the highest on record, and an increase in female employment has also been noted. However, the ministry pointed out that a number of government supports were still in place as of this date.
The department said the growth is encouraging and while it is hoped that this level of employment will continue, Ireland faces a number of new challenges, including supply chain issues and pressures inflationary, which have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
Speaking about the release of the plan, Taoiseach Micheal Martin welcomed the “significant progress” that has been made in terms of employment and policy outcomes. He said:
“The economic recovery plan aims to support jobs and livelihoods, but also to promote a renewed and sustainable approach and ensure a resilient economy able to withstand challenges and uncertainties.”
Explaining why the €4 billion plan was created, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was a stimulus “designed to get people back to work and businesses back on their feet while planning for the long term with investments”.
“With more people at work than ever before in state history, we rebounded faster than expected. This is thanks to the incredible resilience and performance of thousands of Irish businesses, their staff, their families and their communities.
Addressing the war with Ukraine, inflation and the cost of living crisis, Varadkar also said he understood many were feeling anxious.
“The government is truly aware of these concerns and will continue to work hard to create an environment conducive to economic prosperity and prepare for the risks ahead,” he concluded.