Long-term unemployment currently stands at 5.9pc compared to 2.6pc in 2009; leaving thousands of able workers unable to find work, CSO figures suggest.
Figures published in the Quarterly National Household Survey show the overall unemployment rate in Ireland has increased from 12pc to 13.6pc in the last year.
According to the survey, unemployment is now comparable to levels in 1994 and 1995 – 14.7pc and 12.2pc respectively – and 5.9pc of Ireland’s total working population have not worked in a year or more.
Labour party spokesperson on Enterprise and Employment, Willie Penrose TD, expressed his concern over these figures and insisted positive action must be taken if we are to recover from this employment crisis.
“Creating jobs is the key to getting our economy moving again. We need a far more proactive approach,” he acknowledged.
“An SME (small and medium enterprises) working capital guarantee scheme,” Penrose insists, would have a positive impact on the employment situation and “would ensure that viable small and family businesses can get the loans they need.”