Employment and population, 1996-2016: growth, recession and delayed recovery
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Cawley, Mary. (2018). Employment and population, 1996-2016: growth, recession and delayed recovery. In Richie Farrell, Kieran O'Conor, & Matthew Potter (Eds.), Roscommon: History and Society (pp. 697-720). Dublin: Geography Publications.
Introduction The two decades from 1996 to 2016 included a period of rapid economic growth internationally, until about 2008, followed by a deep recession from which many countries are still recovering.1 These changes impacted on the size, composition and distribution of Ireland’s population including that of County Roscommon. Rapid economic growth, followed by recession, took place within the context, inter alia, of advances in communication and information technologies, notably the increased role of the internet, growing liberalisation of financial markets and of international trade, reduced travel costs and housing-market failures.2 Information, investment, goods and people moved at increased frequency over greater distances. Ireland was already networked with many countries internationally through attracting overseas investment, membership of the European Union (EU), a long history of labour migration, especially to Great Britain (GB), the United States (US), Canada and Australia, and of church missionary migration to the Americas, Asian and African countries.3 The pace of change quickened and the directions of migration became more diverse during 1996-2016. This chapter discusses some of the ways in which broader processes of change found expression in County Roscommon. The chapter is based primarily on census of population data for the four census periods 1996- 2002, 2002-2006, 2006-2011 and 2011-2016. Change is discussed at two different geographical scales: (i) the county, where comparisons are made with the state; and (ii) urban and rural areas within the county. Additional official and academic sources are used in order to help understand the underlying influences. By way of introduction, broader international and national trends are outlined.
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