Written answers

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Labour Market

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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131. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on the workforce drain, in particular, the high numbers of young persons emigrating; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57117/22]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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According to the latest available national figures, from the Central Statistics Office’s Labour Force Survey, employment levels reached 2.55 million in Q2 2022. We now have more people employed in our country than ever before, while the latest monthly unemployment rate, for October 2022, stands at 4.4% - levels not seen since 2005. These results are a testament to the hard work and resilience of the Irish people and enterprise. The rate of growth since the beginning of 2021 has been remarkable. Since Q1 2021, the number of people in employment has grown by 324,000, or 14.5%.

Much of the recent increase in employment has been driven by record levels of female labour market participation. There is currently a record-high 1.19 million women in employment – an increase of 164,400 since the start of 2021. As well as continued funding increases for early learning and childcare, interventions through Making Remote Work, our national Remote Work Strategy and Pathways to Work 2021-2025, have assisted in addressing obstacles to labour market inclusion for women.

Of this record employment total of 2.55 million in Q2 2022, 1.492 million was represented by workers aged between 15 and 44. The annual rise in employment for this age cohort was 125,900, or 9.2%. 35,100 of this number represented workers aged 15-19, 33,400 those aged 20-24, 31,600 those aged 25-34 and 26,000 those aged 35-44.

These record employment levels have also been supported by strong net inward migration in recent years, in particular amongst the 15-44 age group. According to Central Statistics Office figures, Ireland has experienced net inward migration every year since 2015 across all age groups, increasing from net inward migration of 5,900 in the year to April 2015, to 61,100 in the year to April 2022; almost 28,000 of this number for the year to April 2022 was accounted for by those arriving from Ukraine.

For the 15-24 age group, while there was net outward migration in the year to April 2021 of 3,400- an outflow which can be attributed to the impact of public health restrictions on workplaces and the education and training system- there was renewed inward migration of 7,400 in the year to April 2022. For the 25-44 age cohort, net inward migration declined from 18,500 in the year to April 2020, to 10,400 in the year to April 2021, while increasing to 31,600 in the year to April.

No similar age breakdown of migration is available by nationality, but the overall levels of emigration and immigration of Irish nationals have been stable each year since 2018, with immigration levels exceeding emigration. In that five year period, the immigration or return of Irish nationals has averaged 28,660 per year, while emigration has averaged 27,200.


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