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5,000 each month are looking to emigrate

MORE than 5,000 highly educated Irish people will be forced to leave the country over the next month due to unemployment.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has predicted that the effects of long-term unemployment will create thousands of new Irish emigrants.

It's anticipated that as many as 70,000 people will have left home this year and a further 50,000 in 2011, with authors of the report describing the findings as "quite significant".

However, between 2008 and 2009, the number of non-nationals employed in Ireland fell by 87,500.

"It is very difficult to estimate how Irish workers will react to the situation," senior researcher Alan Barrett said.

"But the evidence from things like visa applications for Australia points that way."

Dr Barrett said that it's expected the number of jobs in the economy to stabilise at around 1.85 million this year and next but the labour force will grow by around 140,000.

If the emigration estimations are correct, unemployment will rise by 20,000, keeping the jobless rate at 13pc.

The Government think-tank believes that available resources should be shifted away from spending on infrastructure towards aiding the unemployed to retrain and find new jobs.

The ESRI said this approach would generate more employment creation.

This year and next, the economy will perform better than anticipated just three months ago.

The agency outlined that Irish gross domestic product (GDP) would grow 0.25pc this year and by 2.75pc in 2011.

"There will be a world war-type of deficit before normal service resumes next year," said Dr Barrett.


However, ESRI warned that a more broad-based recovery would only start next year. Gross national product (GNP), which more accurately reflects the activities of indigenous companies and consumer spending, will continue to contract "slightly" this year, by 0.5pc, and grow 2.25pc in 2011, the authors found.

And the think-tank emphasised that the Government must press ahead with preparations for more austerity budgets.

And Dr Barrett said that if there is no €1bn property tax, the impact on the economy could be even more severe, because existing taxes will have to rise by more.