Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Social Protection her views as to the reason Ireland has an unemployment rate of 30.3% in the 15 to 24 age group, almost double the OECD average of 16.2%.
Reply from Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton: In Q4, 2012, OECD data show that Ireland had a youth unemployment rate of 29.2% and an unemployment rate of 14.3% for all persons in the labour force. This compares to an overall OECD youth unemployment rate of 16.4%, with 8% unemployment in the OECD labour force. In both instances, the rate of youth unemployment is slightly double the rate of unemployment in the overall economy.
Young people, typically, suffer disproportionately from job losses in recessions as they tend to have entered employment more recently, are more likely to hold temporary contracts and to be employed in cyclically sensitive industries than older workers. The youth unemployment rate in Ireland is higher than the OECD average as the overall level of unemployment is higher in Ireland than in the OECD.