Irish unemployment hits highest point for 18 years

Irish unemployment hits highest point for 18 years
Published:  8 Jul at 3 PM
Ireland’s unemployment figure has climbed to an 18-year high, revealed official data released for June.

But the figure has been somewhat kept down due to the high number of people opting to quit the country in search of better prosperity abroad. Ireland’s population is currently at 4.5 million. The Central Statistics Office revealed that 76,000 people moved to other English speaking nations in 2011. The most popular countries to move to were the UK, Australia and Canada. It seems as though a similar trend is occurring this year.

The unemployment level increased to 14.9 per cent last month in comparison with May’s figure of 14.7 per cent. The last time the jobless rate was at 15 per cent was in March 1994 - the year the country experienced the beginning of a change in fortune which led to an economy boom.

The rapid expansion in the economy resulted in the jobless rate falling and even saw a surge in immigration to the Emerald Isle. However, it quickly became clear that growth would not be able to be sustained because it was largely based on cheap eurozone loans and property speculation.

The boom came to an end in 2008, when the global financial crisis led to the government nationalising five banks. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund had to step in 2010 with bailout measures.