The Irish government expects unemployment to remain high for the next four years, but is expecting the rate will fall from this year's current 14.3% to 11.7% by 2015 as emigration reduces jobless numbers.

Ireland's Stability Programme Update (SPU) for April 2012, which was submitted on Friday to the EU Commission, reveals a dire employment forecast despite projected net job creation in the order of 60,000 over the period 2012 - 15, according to the Irish Examiner.

The report states: "The number of people out of work is set to remain at a relatively high level. As the labour force is projected to decline at a marginally faster rate than employment this year — on the back of continuing net outward migration and subdued labour force participation — the unemployment rate is projected to fall slightly, to 14.3%.

Further declines are projected over the medium term, though the unemployment rate is still forecast to be in double digits by 2015."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has also revised GDP growth estimates for 2012 down from 1% of GDP to 0.7% of GDP. In the SPU published on Friday, Noonan outlined the latest forecast.

"On a number of occasions recently, I have stated that GDP growth for this year in the SPU would likely be revised down compared with the Budget 2012 forecasts.

"This revision to 0.7% and a marginal revision downwards of growth in 2013 are set out in the SPU. Over the medium term, the growth forecasts are broadly in line with the consensus forecasts, which reflect a gradual firming and broadening out of activity over this time period"

He also stated that the department expects that the general government deficit target of 8.6% of GDP for 2012 is still on track.

"The achievement of the 8.6% target is due to the performance of tax revenue in the first quarter, as well as being further assisted by the likelihood that non-tax revenues are likely to be higher and debt servicing expenditure lower than estimated at budget time.

"Continuing to see revenue perform to expectations, while maintaining a control on spending means further progress in achieving budgetary sustainability," he said.

Noonan also said the Consumer Price Index is expected to average 1.6% in 2012.

"More modest consumer-price inflation is forecast for next year, though as domestic demand recovers, prices should start to trend up again further out the forecast horizon," he said.

The line for the social welfare office in a south Dublin suburb