Ireland’s recession is hitting the young hardest and fuelling the growth in emigration according to new research.

The Irish Times reports on the findings from a survey conducted by the government’s Economic And Social Research Institute.

The paper says the new research shows in the ‘starkest’ terms yet how younger people are more seriously affected by the property crash and resultant recession than older age groups.

The research paper was published yesterday by Petra Gerlach-Kristen of the Economic and Social Research Institute.

It found that those aged under 45 suffered far more than older age groups in terms of unemployment, disposable income, weekly spending, mortgage arrears and negative equity in the five years to 2009/10.

The report says the single biggest difference between the two groups over the period is in weekly spending when housing costs, such as mortgage repayments and rents, are excluded.

Households under-45 recorded average weekly falls in non-housing spending of 32 per cent while those aged 45 plus spent 24 per cent more.

Weekly spending changes were underpinned by changes in incomes.

Those Irish Times reports that those aged under 45 on average suffered a 14 per cent fall in their real incomes between 2004/05 and 2009/10, while those aged 45 plus enjoyed an increase of 41 per cent.

The research was based on data from the Central Statistics Office and found the difference in income and consumption patterns was due to the very different impact the jobs crisis had on younger and older people.

It reports that in 2009/10, the unemployment rate among single people under 45 stood at 14.2 per cent, while it was much lower – at 5.6 per cent – for singles aged 45 and older.

Similar differences existed in unemployment rates among households with two adults.

The report adds that economists usually consider an unemployment rate of 4 per cent to be consistent with full employment.

The research says that older adults were little affected by the crash in terms of joblessness.