Interesting to consider the most recent unemployment statistics from the Irish Republic. It’s a very disturbing reality that is now emerging as the recession deepend….
Official figures show unemployment more than doubled in counties such as Meath (up 114 per cent), Laois (103 per cent) and Kildare (101 per cent). Border counties such as Monaghan (108 per cent) and Cavan (107 per cent) were also badly hit. Among the areas with the smallest percentage increases over the past year were Waterford (65 per cent) and Dublin (75 per cent).
In addition to the unemployment gloom in the commuter belt, new figures compiled by Permanent TSB indicate that these counties have suffered the steepest house price falls. House prices within commuting distance of the capital have fallen by up to 17 per cent over the past year, compared to about 10 per cent nationally.
A breakdown of live register figures also shows the proportion of foreign nationals signing on since January of 2008 has increased sharply. While the number of Irish nationals signing on over the last year has jumped by 80 per cent, the number of foreign nationals has increased by 140 per cent.
This increase has been felt most sharply by members of former EU accession states, with numbers jumping by more than 250 per cent over the past 12 months.
That’s a HUGE % increase in EU workers which I assume is directly linked the severe downturn in the construction industry. But there are many other sectors in the Irish economy now also undergoing serious decline and I think that the 400,00 foreign nationals that at one point made up the Irish workforce (around 30%) wil either sign up for welfare, or leave. Can the State afford the welfare costs as tax receipts nosedive? If these people leave, I wonder where they will go? I suppose it would have to be a country with an even more generous welfare system, more easily exploited……mmmm, guess they won’t have to travel very far.