This Government inherited a jobs market in freefall with 250,000 private-sector jobs and 45,000 jobs in exporting sectors lost between 2008 and 2010.

Since taking office, the Action Plan for Jobs, has provided for a transition from the old, failed economy – reliant on property, banking and debt – to a new, sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation.

That plan is working: private-sector jobs Increase by 1,000 jobs per month in the private sector (last 15 months); 2012 showed the first annual increase in employment in 5 years; the IDA has had two record years, with a net increase of 12,500 in employment in supported companies in 2011 and 2012; Enterprise Ireland had a record year in 2012, with a net increase of over 3,000 in supported companies in 2012; exports have hit their highest ever levels, with 2012 total exports of €182 billion at 16% above the pre-crisis high; jobs in the exporting sector have increased by over 15,000 (last 2 years); and we’ve seen numerous major announcements from Irish and multinational companies like Kerry, ebay, Paypal, Apple and Mylan.

While there is still significant churn in the labour market, the challenge now is to accelerate the transition by continuing to implement the Government’s plan – in the banking system, in the public finances and through the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work.

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