Ireland's economic hard times are far from over for the record number of young people who are faced with ongoing joblessness.
Speaking to a Bloomberg reporter this week, Irish father Anthony Roche revealed that he has urged his unemployed son to emigrate to Australia to escape the country’s economic collapse.
'I’ve seen the good times and the bad and these are the worst,' Roche, 45, who now works one or two days a week after he closed his business laying floors for bars and restaurants 18 months ago, told Bloomberg. 'There are plenty of people there to work, but there isn’t any work out there. That’s why people are leaving these shores again.'
Enda Kenny vows to end long term unemployment within four years
Although Ireland's economy is beginning to recover 15 months after the banking bailout, the Irish government acknowledges the country is still in the midst of the worst economic crisis since World War II.
With the unemployment rate at a towering 14.2 percent, close to the highest level since the 1980s, only Spain and Greece now have higher jobless figures in the euro region.
'Unemployment is a huge problem for Ireland,' Michael O’Sullivan, head of portfolio strategy at Credit Suisse Private Banking in London told Bloomberg. 'Ireland has the additional strait- jacket of the euro-zone austerity mantra, which for Ireland may have the short-term effect of creating lots of unemployment.'
Meanwhile, Irish emigration rose to the highest level since the 19th century in the 12 months ending in April 2011, with about 76,400 people leaving Ireland during the period, according to the Central Statistics Office.
Irish Prime minister Enda Kenny was elected with a mandate to fix Ireland’s jobs crisis, but the pace of change has been too slow for many. 'Many of the unemployed are among our most talented and are facing a dole queue or emigration,' Kenny said during a speech in Cork on February 3. 'I, and the rest of cabinet, am working day and night to get them into work,' he added.