At the moment, as Pete flagged a couple of days ago, Bill Clinton is doing some heavy lifting in the US for job creation on behalf of the Republic of Ireland’s government. Over at the Belfast media group, Jude Collins provides an interesting contrast, highlighting the uneven results of Invest NI’s work:
During 2010/2011, Invest NI managed to secure NOT A SINGLE JOB in West Belfast. Yet year after year, south and east Belfast attract shed loads more money via Invest NI than does north or west Belfast.
Collins also references back to the OFMDFM Labour Force Survey Religion Report from 2009 (published 2010: see page 21 onwards) which showed that, while the differential in unemployment between Catholics and Protestants had dropped considerably from 1992 to 2007-08, it was begining to widen again from 2008 onwards.
He goes on to be scathing about the current lack of attention (including in the locating of public sector jobs) towards this issue:
My suspicion is that in our desire to bury old animosities, we’ve reached the point where raising an old issue like employment inequality might be considered backward-looking, smelling of yesteryear. And yet I was talking to a senior trade union official a while back who insisted that lots of firms here operate with very uneven Catholic:Protestant figures for the workforce. Cases aren’t brought against them because people, including those involved, fear the repercussions of kicking up stink.