Spiralling oil prices, high inflation and an international economic recession have had a profound effect on industry resulting in growing dole queues. Over a period of 18 months between 1979 and 1981 unemployment in Ireland increased by 46%.

'Today Tonight' meets some of those who have joined the dole queues talk about their prospects and the lack of opportunities. For some emigration is the answer, while others struggle on surviving on a basic dole payment. The report also examines what the future holds for young school leavers in the context of growing unemployment and economic recession. Commenting on what a job would mean to one young man he says 

You're only a liability when you're on the dole.

Mary McAleese reports for 'Today Tonight' on 26 May 1981.