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2,766 on the dole in Inishowen 09.09.08

by Damian Dowds, Inishowen Independent

THE number of people signing on the live register in Inishowen increased by 55 last month and now stands at 2,766. However, 972 more people signed on in August 2008 than in August 2007, an increase of 54%.
“Politicians are loathe to use the word ‘recession’ but there’s no point in burying our heads in the sand any longer – we’re in recession and it’s hard to see how we’re going to get out of it,” said independent Buncrana Town Councillor Nicholas Crossan, comparing the current level of unemployment to that of the 1970s.
“The days of large scale manufacturing in Inishowen are long gone, but we need high quality, high value jobs, such as in pharmaceuticals or services. We also need to develop our tourism product.”
“There’s a serious shortage of money about, and Buncrana Main Street seems very quiet, but there’s nothing for it but to keep ploughing on,” Cllr Crossan continued. “I have great confidence that Tánaiste Mary Coughlan will secure jobs for Donegal – I just hope that some of them come to
Councillor Nicholas Crossan
Inishowen.”
A closer examination of the figures reveal that men account for four out of every five additional people signing on the dole over the past 12 months. Of the 2,766 signing on, 1,770 are men and 996 are women.
“Inishowen didn’t benefit from the Celtic Tiger years, and a lot of our young people went to Dublin and Belfast for work, especially in the construction sector,” Cllr Crossan remarked. “I’d expect that a large part of that increase is those young men returning home.”
“Even though some may have left school early, they are very well educated and I’d be confident that we could handle retraining.”
Cllr Crossan added that TDs should show leadership and solidarity with workers who have lost their jobs by forgoing their recent pay increases that sees their annual salary top €100,000 before expenses.
“The national pay talks are under way again, and politicians accepting pay rises like that makes it very hard to tell the unions that their members have to put off their pay claims.”
“Hard decisions will have to be made and time will tell if Brian Cowen is the man to make them,” Cllr Crossan concluded.
The number of people signing on in Donegal as a whole now stands at 12,955, an increase of 3,804 (41%) on 12 months previously. Nationally, the live register grew by 42%, or 73,178, over August 2007 and now stands at 247,384.
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