The unemployment rate in Ireland is now at the lowest it has been for the first time in 10 years, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office.
November’s seasonally adjusted figures show that the unemployment rate fell to 5.3%. This is down from 6.4% from this time last year when the number of people unemployed stood at 127,600.
Ireland’s current figures are much lower than the eurozone average of 8.1%. In contrast with recessionary times, it is an improvement from the pinnacle of the financial crisis, where the country’s unemployment rate rose to 16% in 2012.
According to RTÉ, Merrion Economist Alan McQuaid said that emigration has contributed to keeping down the unemployment rate.
He predicts that the unemployment rate is projected to fall overall to 5.7% for 2018, which is down from 6.7% in 2017.
“A further fall, to 5% is envisaged for 2019, with a net increase in employment of around 50,000,” said McQuaid.
Of those aged between 15-24, 12.3% of this age group are without jobs, with males more affected at 13.2%
Separate CSO figures published last month showed that while employment amongst Irish nationals grew by 2.2%, foreign nationals employed grew at a rate of 7.7%. Up to 16.2% of the workforce are foreign nationals.
“Employers will likely rely increasingly on inward migration to help fill positions: over the course of last year, almost 40 per cent of the increase in the number of people in employment has come from non-Irish nationals,” said Pawal Adrjan, economist at recruitment website Indeed.
Other figures were released by the statistical agency this month show that within the workforce, 1,621 days were lost due to industrial disputes in the third quarter of 2018.
There were six disputes across six different firms in progress during this time involving 595 workers.