Social welfare line in Dublin City: Bishops have said emigration and rising unemployment are creating "insecurity and even despair amongst some"

According to a new survey Irish employers have the fourth most negative outlook on employment. This means that finding employment in Ireland before Christmas is unlikely.

The report, by employment consultancy Manpower, showed that the Irish are only less pessimistic than the Greeks, the Italians and the Czechs.

This comes as very unwelcome news in Ireland where unemployment stands at a record level of 455,000 people.

The survey said "Irish employers predict an unstable labor market in the remainder of the year."

Only four percent of employers expect to hire new staff before Christmas while seven percent believe that they will have to let current staff go.

Dublin employers are Ireland's most pessimistic followed by Leinster and Connacht. UIster bosses were quite positive while Munster bosses seemed "neutral".

"Based on unadjusted survey data, Dublin employers report the weakest labor market, and hiring prospects are also sluggish in Munster….Elsewhere, employers report mixed hiring intentions," said the report.

On the flip side of the coin Swiss employers were found to be the most positive followed by Norwegian and Polish bosses.

Each employer was asked the same question: "How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of December 2010 compared to the current quarter?"