MORE than one million immigrants came to Ireland over the last decade but just a quarter of these were still working here in 2011.
A new report from the Central Statistics Office shows a dramatic fall-off in the numbers of foreign nationals arriving in Ireland to work in the last few years.
Only 58,300 foreigners of working age were assigned PPSN numbers in 2011, compared with almost 204,000 in 2006. And just 21,800 of them got jobs, compared with 120,700 back in 2006.
Looking back at the entire period from 2002 to 2011, the figures show that a massive 1.148 million foreigners of working age came to Ireland and were allocated PPSN numbers.
And though only one in four of them was still working here at the end of the period, that's still 310,000 foreign workers. It remains a sizable chunk of the working population of around 1.8 million.
The CSO report on Foreign Nationals shows that the huge drop-off in employment levels since 2006 has not resulted in a corresponding increase in social welfare claims.
Only 28pc of those allocated PPSN numbers that year were claiming welfare in 2011.
And that number would include thousands of parents whose only welfare claim was for child benefit payments.
Among migrants who came here in 2011, social welfare uptake was just 9pc.
The Integration Centre, which works with immigrants, said the report debunks the myth about high numbers of migrants on social welfare.