Almost 40,000 young Irish people are leaving the country per year the new unemployment and workforce figures show.

Unemployment is sky high, at 14.8 percent, but the figure would be much worse were it not for the emigration drain. Most emigrants are heading to Britain, Australia and the United States and mainland Europe are also popular.

The Irish Independent reports the numbers at work in Ireland have shrunk by almost 30,000 which  shows that thousands are fleeing the country, according to Davy economist Conall Mac Coille.

"The 29,500 fall in the labor force in the year to Q2 indicates that emigration could be running close to 40,000 per annum, given the expected natural increase (in the workforce)."

Alan McQuaid, an economist with Merrion Capital agreed.

"Many young Irish people are either staying on in education or moving abroad to avail of significant job opportunities," he said.

The Central Statistics office figures showed that the fall off in the work force  is “almost exclusively concentrated” in the 20 to 24 and 25 to 34 age groups.

The figures show that young people are finding it twice as hard as the older generation to find employment, with almost one in three unemployed.

Tourism was one of the few bright sparks on the horizon with jobs in the hotel and restaurant sector up by over 6,300.

Government jobs have been slashed with 36,800 fewer jobs available while private sector jobs have fallen by 77,500.

Heading into the winter and with further tough budget cuts, analysts do not expect any improvement in the overall situation anytime soon.