The Impact of Ireland’s Recession on the Labour Market Outcomes of Its Immigrants

Alan Barrett, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin
Elish Kelly, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin

Between 2004 and 2007, the proportion of non-nationals living in Ireland almost doubled, increasing from 7.7% to 13.1%. Between 2008 and 2009, Ireland experienced one of the most acute downturns in economic activity in the industrialized world, with a cumulative fall in gross national product of close to 14%. In this paper, we assess how this downturn has impacted the employment outcomes of non-nationals relative to natives. We find huge job losses among immigrants, with an annual rate of job loss of close to 20% in 2009, compared to 7% for natives. A higher rate of job loss for immigrants is found to remain when we control for factors such as age and education. We also show how an outflow of non-nationals is occurring. The findings have many implications, both in terms of the experiences of immigrants and the impact on Ireland’s economy.

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Presented in Session 156: Immigration in Comparative Perspective