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Migrant Workers Make Up 20% of Ireland’s Workforce

Dublin: Despite widespread anti-immigration sentiment, recent election results indicate strong support for migration among Ireland’s voters and a significant portion of its political leaders and parties.

Immigrants have long contributed their lives and labour to Ireland. The Irish recognise this truth, acknowledging that the contribution of immigrants to the economy and society is immeasurable. They play crucial roles not only in the health sector but also in various other fields such as business, construction, and technology. As Ireland’s job market and economic landscape evolve, the need for skilled technicians and specialists continues to grow, highlighting the importance of immigrants.

Immigrant Workforce Statistics

Immigrants in Ireland are not isolated communities. Of the 2.7 million people employed in Ireland, 20 percent are non-Irish nationals, making up a significant portion of the country’s workforce. In the first quarter of the year, labour force participation among Irish nationals increased by 1.7 percent, while it rose by 15 percent for non-Irish nationals.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the largest number of non-Irish migrant workers are employed in manufacturing (14%), health (13.4%), retail and wholesale (12.4%), and technical sectors (11.4%). The majority of work permits are issued to nurses, healthcare assistants, chefs, computer programmers, and doctors.

Ireland’s Need for Immigrants

Ireland’s sustainable development and demographic challenges necessitate the influx of skilled international workers. The economy will increasingly rely on immigrants to manage the growing ageing population and maintain an adequate employee-to-pensioner ratio, projected to be 2:1 by 2050.

Globally, the number of elderly people is on the rise, leading to intense competition for healthcare workers. Ireland is already experiencing a significant healthcare crisis, underscoring the need for professional care workers. Experts assert that Ireland’s future in professional care heavily depends on the continued presence and support of immigrants.

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