Lots of emigrants 'starting to come home' as forecasters expect job levels to 'grow very significantly'

Lots of emigrants 'starting to come home' as forecasters expect job levels to 'grow very significantly'

The unemployment rate last month was 8.8%, the lowest it has been for seven years.

The figure is unchanged from November's rate and a drop of 2.2% on the same time last year.

Seasonally adjusted, the number of people on the Live Register was 190,600 in December.

Philip O'Sullivan, chief economist with Investec Ireland, said the dole queues should keep shrinking.

He said: "One of the most interesting things we are seeing is that the number of people who have emigrated over the past couple of years, a lot of those people are starting to come home.

"So we do expect that the labour market in Ireland should grow very significantly from the current levels.

Lots of emigrants 'starting to come home' as forecasters expect job levels to 'grow very significantly'

"Unemployment should go below 8% by the end of this year and should hover around 7.5% by the end of next year."

Meanwhile, Enterprise Ireland client companies created more than 21,000 jobs last year, but there were nearly 11,000 job losses, leaving a net increase of 10,169.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has said it is a record year for the body.

Mr Bruton said: "That's the highest ever since the foundation of Enterprise Ireland, it's the highest ever in records that we can detect for 20 years or more.

"Every single sector is growing jobs, every region is growing jobs. We've a really vibrant start-up environment now with a lot of new start-ups, one of the things we sought to develop with our entrepreneurship strategy."


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