Category: Archive

Retail, construction and government all see workforce gains

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

According to the Republic’s Central Statistics Office, in the year through February of this year, 90,000 new jobs were created in construction, retail and public sector jobs.
European Union enlargement of the European Union in May 2004 — when Ireland, along with Sweden and Britain and unlike most other EU countries, allowed freedom to work for all new EU citizens — has meant foreign workers are now fuelling Ireland’s jobs boom, with 50,000 of the new jobs occupied by foreign workers. There are estimated to be over 100,000 workers from Poland in Ireland, with around 200,000 new workers in all arriving from former Eastern bloc countries since 2004.
Booming property prices, along with massive spending by the government for highways and infrastructure projects, has also seen a surge in construction jobs, with 20,000 new workers, or around a 9 percent increase, the highest in any jobs sector.
The 90,000 new jobs represent a 4.7 percent increase in the workforce and a pace of job creation much faster than elsewhere in Europe and the U.S. The conversion of migrant foreign labor into a booming economy is cited by economists as the principle reason for rapid growth.
“The current pace of job growth in Ireland is around 10 times that being seen in the UK, Germany and France at present and about three times faster than the U.S.,” according to IIB Bank chief economist Austin Hughes. “We reckon Ireland’s population increased also by 100,000, which is more than five times the pace seen in the rest of Europe,” he added.
While a jobs boom normally boosts wages, which can lead to inflation and make industries uncompetitive, the huge increase in migrant workers has tended to dampen this effect, Hughes noted.
Relaxation of an embargo on recruitment to government or jobs in local government meant an increase of 30,000 in this sector, with one in five of all workers now working for the government.

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