South East Economy Continues to Stagnate says New Report from WIT Lecturers


South East Economic Monitor critical of Government’s South East Action Plan for Jobs


Ray Griffin Regional Report Launch 02 06 2016

Pictured are Dr Ray Griffin, Lecturer in Strategy and Dr Cormac O’Keefe, Lecturer in Finance & Economics at the WIT School of Business.

Key points

– Unemployment in South East rose by 0.6% to 12.5% in Q1 2016; against the downward national trend (8.4%; down 0.3%); the South East has experienced an employment crisis since 2002.

– The quality of jobs in the South East is dramatically lower than the national average, and continues to decline.

– Bright spots in property market and new car sales.


– Lower educational attainment, a problem built up over a long-term by lower investment in Higher education. The South East is missing 7,260 higher education places.

– Lower activity by the IDA in the region over the past 25 years; the South East is missing 6,312 IDA supported jobs. 

The authors of a new annual report looking at the economy of the South East region, home to 10% of Irish citizens have said “it is clear there is no plan to turn the South East economy around.”

The South East Economic Monitor is prepared by academic faculty in the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) School of Business.

According to the report’s authors Dr Cormac O’Keeffe and Dr Ray Griffin the national policy approach is focused on the crisis being over; it is clearly still underway in the South East.

Dr Cormac O’Keeffe, Lecturer in Finance and Economics at WIT School of Business said “we have had five quarters of worsening unemployment data since the Government’s South East Action Plan for Jobs was launched. The Government launched the South East Action Plan for Jobs on 7 September, 2015 promising an extra 25,000 jobs in the region and 10-15% employment growth over the coming years.”

WIT School of Business lecturer in Strategy Dr Ray Griffin commented “the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs does not address the root cause of the South East’s economic stagnation, it says nothing about adding higher education capacity to improve educational attainment; the kind of sensible investment that would support the IDA’s marketing of the region.”

“The recession took hold of the South East in 2002, five years before the end of the Celtic Tiger, it became dramatically worse with the national crisis; and now the regional recession has re-asserted as the dominant economic trend,” added Dr O’Keeffe.

Download the report at

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