Battle for migrants key to sustained growthPosted on July 31, 2019 by Gerald Flynn
IRELAND will become more dependent on immigrant workers over the next few years but most will probably come from outside the European Union according to the Central Bank.
In a new study on labour market demands and net migration trends, the bank’s economists note that recent higher-skilled workers have been coming from southern European states like Spain, Italy and Croatia. Prior to the economic crash and asset bubble, most migrants to Ireland came from the newer EU states like Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Net inward migration will be the most important source of new employees if the economy continues to grow at the rates seen over the past number of years, according to the study.
It adds that inward migration will be critical in ensuring that growth is not impeded by labour or skill shortages.
However, the Central Bank of Ireland study warns the Republic is unlikely to see levels of migration – up to 100,000 a year – similar to those witnessed in the mid-2000s and will face a battle with other countries to secure talent. Furthermore, employers won’t benefit from paying lower wages to migrants as many did during the Celtic Tiger years especially in construction and agriculture jobs.
The accession of 10 eastern European countries to the EU between 2004 and 2007 led to a sharp spike in the number of migrants in the Republic. That helped sustain growth during the tail-end of the boom. But while EU accession countries made up nearly 60% of recently-arrived migrants in employment during those years, they count for just one-in-four new migrants currently.