Candidates in many rural constituencies complained during the election that there was no sign of recovery. The much-vaunted recovery was, they reckoned, confined to Dublin. The regional statistics on job creation and unemployment over the last two years are summarised in the graphic – they come from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) quarterly household survey.

Dublin has done better, but there has been job growth almost everywhere, fastest in the midlands and positive everywhere else except in the west. Even there, the unemployment rate fell, due to a contraction in the labour force. The assertion that there has been no recovery around the provinces seems to be incorrect. But it does seem clear that the jobs being created are mainly in the bigger urban centres, including Cork, Limerick, and Galway as well as Dublin. Jobs data for areas smaller than the eight regions will be released in the 2016 census returns and will likely confirm that small towns and villages are no longer competitive locations for expanding businesses.