The most common jobs in Ireland are no longer being filled by migrants
The number of Irish people applying for a job in Ireland is down by almost 10 per cent compared to last year, according to a new study.
The study by the Dublin Institute of Social Research said that since January 1, the number of applications made to Irish government departments for work fell by 9 per cent, from 1,879,000 to 1,700,000.
That is the biggest fall for any year since the institute started keeping records in 2012.
The report said the drop was not linked to the Brexit vote, which saw the Government halve the number it accepts from foreigners.
Instead, it said the main reason for the decline was the closure of the Dublin Airport to international flights.
The report did not give figures on the number who applied for work.
Irish nationals are required to apply for a visa before they can work in the country.
But some companies and employers have been reluctant to let workers in for fear of jeopardising their employment prospects.
Last week, the head of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Irish Government’s human rights watchdog, described the new figures as a “grave threat to public order”.
Mr Justice O’Hara said the number and type of applications that were being made were “incredibly high”, with the most common occupations requiring an A level qualification.
He said the Government needed to be “very clear” about how the process worked and “properly restrict” the number that could be accepted.
Mr Justice Kelly said the figures indicated a “deeply worrying” deterioration in the way in which people in Ireland were seeking work.
He added: “The number of people applying to jobs is far too high and this is the result of a long-term trend that has been exacerbated by a combination of factors.”
The Government has to take immediate action to rein in the flow of people coming to the country in this way, and to improve the way that people are properly vetted and screened.
“The report also said the Irish economy is still struggling to recover from the financial crisis, with the economy at 1.8 per cent of GDP, and unemployment at 8.6 per cent.
Mr Kelly said there were also “very serious concerns” about the quality of jobs available to people in the economy.”
It’s a reality that is going to have a knock-on effect on the quality and the prospects for the Irish job market,” he said.
He said he believed the number needed to rise in the next five years to get back to a sustainable level.
Last year, Ireland recorded the largest number of jobseekers for work in Europe.
The country is the only country in the EU that does not have a universal right to work, and people with a job can only get one without permission.