In what will be taken as another encouraging sign for the economy, the number of notified redundancies dropped by 16pc in 2004, figures published today by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment show.
At 23,372, the number of notified redundancies in 2004 was down on 2003 and 2002 levels but these years aside it was still higher than in any year since 1988, when 23,037 redundancies were announced. At that time, however, the workforce consisted of 1.11 million people compared with today’s 1.84 million. As a percentage of the labour force, therefore, the redundancy rate in 2004 was 1.27pc compared with 2.07pc in 1988. The figures for 2003 and 2002 were 1.56pc and 1.45pc respectively.
Welcoming the data, Minister for Labour Affairs Tony Killeen TD said the trend “bodes well for the level and security of employment in the coming year especially when coupled with continuing strong employment growth”.
He added: “The improvement in notified redundancies started in July 2004 and continued month on month to the end of the year. Indeed, in December 2004 1,293 jobs were notified to be lost due to redundancy which was a remarkable 55pc lower than the December 2003 figure.”
Minister Killeen said that these improved redundancy figures are consistent with the strong economic growth and increased employment that occurred in 2004.
By Brian Skelly