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CMR Working Papers 25/83
The paper resolves the role of recent immigration to Ireland with special emphasis on the Polish people. First part of the analysis is devoted to both indigenous and exiguous changes in the Irish labour market. Second part of the paper takes on the spot migrations from UE 10 the third part scrutinizes migrant workers form Poland in terms of history of migrantion to Poland, pre- and post-accession waves (continuity or/and change), socio-economic characteristics, labour market needs and propensity to return to Poland. The final part brings the conclusions on the impact of migrations form UE 10, with strong overrepresentation of the Polish labour migrants, on the Irish economy. The most important factor in labour force growth in recent years has been immigration (well ahead natural increase and inflow from education). Foreign labour force has accounted for 10 per cent of the Irish labour force where 39.8 per cent of those come from UE 10 countries. Economic activity rate counts 75 per cent for new migrants, which is an evidence for labour -driven migration to Ireland form 'UE 10' new Member States. While talking on education, UE 10 migrants are slightly better educated than locals, which does not mirror the sectoral allocations of migrant workers form EU 10. Having the Irish population one of the youngest in Europe, the EU10 migrants are slightly younger then their Irish comparators, which give a lot of space for economic integration at different levels. Polish people have been, since May 1st 2004, the biggest single ethnic wave of migrants in the respect of the dynamics of the Polish migration to Ireland and they have predominated other nationalities of EU 10 such as Latvians and Lithuanians who were the biggest groups in terms of allocation of work permits on the pre-accession period. Since May 1st 2004 to June 2007 226 715 Public Personal Service Numbers had been allocated to the Polish people (whereas from May 2004 to May 2007: 214 419) and among them 153 799 had been recorded with employment details (paid taxes), which means that not all of those who have come to Ireland take up employment both in legal and nonmarket terms (family dependants). According to the National Quarterly Household Survey about 50 000 Polish people had been working in Ireland in 2006. In recent Census (April 2006) 63 090 Polish people turnout, which supposed to be underestimation. Sectoral split of the Polish migrant in Ireland resembles somehow the patterns of allocation of labour migrants in other service economies. Despite deregulations introduced by the Irish government on the occasion of May 1st 2004, Polish migrants tend to operate in manufacturing and hospitality sectors, while strongly concentrate in construction. This may support the hypothesis on the segmentation of the Irish labour market. But when one looks at the level of wages on the one hand and the dynamics of remuneration, it is clearly visible that wages of EU 10 migrants go up much quicker then locals. Taking into account the dynamics of in-ward inflow of migrants to Ireland, there is a temptation to doubt about neverending absorption of the Irish labour market, which unevenly may create some displacement effects in the future. However, currently EU 10 migrant workers (with strong predomination of the Polish group) complement rather then substitute the Irish labour force. There are a lot of arguments behind this process: EU 10 migrants are economically active and they mostly picked up jobs left by the Irish or those which, have been dedicated to the.
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