Young jobless figures treble

Job losses at some of Fermanagh's biggest employers have helped fuel emigration

Job losses at some of Fermanagh’s biggest employers have helped fuel emigration

FERMANAGH’S youth unemployment has almost trebled in the past six years, with figures just released by the Department of Finance showing a deepening crisis for the county’s under-25s.

And according to spokesman at FEDO (Fermanagh Economic Development Organisation) the figures could be a lot worse were it not for the county’s high rate of emigration which had effectively create a brain drain of young people.


The FEDO member – who did not want to be named – said  there has been an “acceleration” in the number of people out of work and warned that a pattern seemed to be emerging where fewer graduates were returning to Fermanagh for work.

“The economy has changed dramatically between in the last six years,” he said.

“There is an increase in the number of under 25s emigrating, mostly to Australia but also to Canada and the USA over the last number of years. Those numbers have been dramatic.

“University graduates are not coming back to Fermanagh looking for jobs and not forgetting the job losses in the Quinn Group.

“Under 25s unemployment is a big issue as they are unemployed at the most important time of their lives. Some would be considering getting married and settling down but they are not in the position to do so and socially it’s devastating.

“People under 30 is at the most critical time in their lives, socially and economically.

“While there has been a growth in the economy in Britain it has been slow and I believe that it’s growing on the back of the construction and manufacturing sector.


“The view is that the three best GAA players in Australia are from Fermanagh. There wouldn’t be any surprise if there was an increase in people moving away from the county in the future.”

In August of this year there were 475  people under 25 claiming unemployment benefits, a rise of 264% compared to those in August 2007.

The figures released by the Department of Finance show a year-on-year increase of unemployment levels in the region in the last six years.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Phil Flanagan said:

“The continuing high rates of emigration in the county is very concerning for a number of reasons. Firstly it would really leave us in a difficult position in the future in terms of people that will be able to create businesses and create employment but also in terms of falling school numbers and socially too.”

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