Almost 70,000 Irish workers left Irish shores during 2010

Irish emigration hits highest level in two decades


Almost 70,000 Irish workers left Irish shores during 2010

New figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Ireland show that thousands of Irish citizens are emigrating to other countries in search of a better life and employment opportunities.

Since the fall of the Celtic Tiger boom, thousands of Irish, mainly young, have made the life-altering decision to leave their homes, families and Irish lifestyles.

CSO statistics show that after 13 years of emigration into the country, more people are now leaving it than returning.

Preliminary figures for this coming tax year estimates that 65,300 people will have left the country.

Thousands of those leaving are emigrants returning to their own country, others are Irish citizens in search of better opportunities.

Consultant and former director of the Emigrant Advice Network  Noreen Bowden said "People really, genuinely believed emigration was over."

"If you look historically, there was a big period of return in the 1970s and also for the Celtic Tiger. But the Celtic Tiger's return was driven by huge staff shortages," she said.

Chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers Dermot O'Leary said initially it was Europeans returning home but more recently it's younger Irish people who have just completed college leaving to find a job in other countries.

The Department of Finance has said net outward migration "will restrain the pace of growth in labor supply, which combined with the increase in net employment will reduce unemployment to under 10% by the end of the forecast horizon."

The Economic and Social Research Institute feels the estimated 50,000 figure given of net outflow from the country up to April 2011 is more likely 60,000.

While in the past Irish people would emigrate to countries like the U.S. and the U.K it is now places like Canada, Australia and Asia that are becoming home for many Irish.

Bowden told the Wall Street Journal she worries about the places people are going and lack of support available to them.

"It's one thing to be in trouble in New York, where you have two or three Irish centers to help you out. It's another to fall between the cracks in South America or Asia," she said.


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