10% rise in foreign nationals at work


IMMIGRANTS:THE NUMBER of immigrants at work has increased by almost 10 per cent since the last census, in contrast with a 9 per cent fall in the number of Irish nationals at work.

As a result, the unemployment rate among non-Irish people (22.4 per cent) was higher than among Irish nationals (18.5 per cent). However, the percentage increase in unemployment since 2006 was lower among non-Irish workers (130 per cent) than Irish workers (143 per cent). The number of foreign nationals in employment passed a quarter of a million for the first time in 2011.

Polish nationals accounted for 80 per cent of the 24,000 additional workers. There was a doubling of the number of Polish women working, accounting for about 80 per cent of Polish workers. However there was just a 10 per cent increase in Polish men working.

Much of this gender difference can be explained by sectoral differences. The largest increase in immigrant workers was in the wholesale and retail sectors, where a quarter of Polish workers were employed. Construction and manufacturing were the only sectors to see a fall in foreign nationals at work, with a drop of 68 per cent in construction.

The census report also looked at changes in education. It showed a significant increase in the number of full-time students since 2006, up by almost 60,000 (17 per cent).

A two-thirds increase in male students has almost closed a gender gap which has historically seen more women in full-time education than men.

However, while 56 per cent of those with a third-level qualification were women, 59 per cent of those with doctorates were men.

The number of students has doubled over the last three decades, the report said, reflected in the educational attainment by age. More than 40 per cent of people in their 30s had third-level education, compared to just over 30 per cent of people in their 40s.

There is also an increase in the number of older students, with those aged 35-44 more than doubling in the five years from 2006.