Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innvoation Damien English T.D. has welcomed recent figures which show an increase of 18.5% in the number of jobs in the construction sector since this time last year, as well as figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) which confirm a 30% rise in Meath of 151 new car registrations from January to June 2015, equating to 2,490 new Meath cars on the road in that 6 month period.
“With one of the fastest drops in unemployment nationally too, under the Action Plans for Jobs launched in February 2012, aided also by Meath County Council’s new Economic Development Plan, it is clear that Meath’s economy is moving in the right direction. We now need stability of Government nationally and sensible economic and taxation policies to keep it moving that way” Minister English said.
Amongst other positive economic indicators from both the CSO and SIMI highlighted by Minister English were the 56% rise in new sales of light goods vehicles, another sign of economic development and demand. The cost of motoring is now 6% lower for petrol vehicle drivers, and 9% lower for diesel drivers. The average price of a new car has dropped by 3%. 5,600 exta people are now employed in the motor industry nationally than in 2014, and 75% of SIMI members have a positive outlook for 2016. Overall, concumer confidence is at a 9 year high according to the CSO.
“The latest CSO figures show that 126,000 people are now employed in the construction sector, that’s an increase of almost 20,000 in twelve months. These are national figures but the jobs are distributed across the country, including here in Co. Meath” the Meath West Fine Gael T.D. said.
“The construction sector suffered a massive decline when the economy collapsed in 2008. At that time, 280,000 people were employed in the sector and this dropped to below 100,000 by 2012. A healthy economy must have a vibrant and sustainable construction sector, and that is what we are now rebuilding”
“Here in Meath we have many highly skilled construction workers who for too many years have struggled to find work. We have also lost many to emigration due to the property fuelled bubble propped up by the last Fianna Fail Government. Now we are starting to see growth again in this area and opportunities for Meath workers.”
“I am confident that there is plenty of room for the construction sector in Meath to grow, but we must do this in a sensible sustainable way. We don’t want any more bubbles. We must guard against returning to the boom and bust model that failed Meath and its people in the past” concluded Minister English.