Tens of thousands of Irish are expected to leave the country next year as a result of the continuing euro zone crisis, a leading think-tank has warned.
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has warned that their forecast for 2012 is worse than previously thought, due to the ongoing global economic recession.
They advised that unemployment and emigration will continue to grow next year. They estimate working numbers will drop from 1,807,000 to 1,785,000, a drop of 22,000. An estimated 75,000 people are expected to emigrate.
They predict that the homegrown economy will grow less than one percent, almost half of what they had estimated in their previous quarterly report.
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David Duffy, co-author of the ESRI report, warned that Ireland will more than likely have difficulty repaying the EU/IMF rescue deal.
"For the forecast period that we are looking at - 2011 and 2012 - we should meet our targets," he said.
"But beyond that it depends on the international environment and if that continues to deteriorate, then that would make meeting our targets more difficult.
"Ultimately, it's what happens internationally that will determine the outcome for Ireland."
In November the unemployment rate in Ireland increased 0.1 percent to 14.5 percent, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.