Thursday, March 07 14:12:51
Nearly half - 46pc - of people thinking about emigrating are already in full-time employment.
That's according to University College Cork's EMIGRE project., which also found that 62pc of those working full-time expressed clear dissatisfaction with their career prospects.
CSO data has already revealed that the amount of Irish people leaving the country annually increased by over 350pc between 2008 and 2012.
In a major UCC study examining this trend, EMIGRE surveyed over 500 would-be emigrants at the recent Working Abroad Expos held in Dublin and Cork and found 73pc of those surveyed said that they were thinking about leaving to find a job or gain job experience.
It also found that 44pc of the people surveyed were over the age of 30 and 14pc of all respondents were over the age of 40. 22pc of the total had mortgages in Ireland and 27pc had children, suggesting that many families were thinking of moving away from Ireland.
Dr. Piaras MacEinri, the EMIGRE project leader, highlighted the human dimension of the survey. "Holding over 500 questionnaire returns, banal as they look, is a way of looking at over 500 lives. There is something infinitely poignant about many of these documents, charting, as they do, lives in transition".
"There were some very angry people, but a smaller number of hopeful and happy ones. Men in their later 40s, and even older, looking abroad, some for the first time. It seems many families who returned to Ireland in the good times are now leaving for a second time," he added.
Of those surveyed in the EMIGRE project, 17pc were working part-time, 22pc were unemployed, demonstrating that unemployment and underemployment were significant push factors. Construction-related occupations featured strongly among those surveyed (21pc).
Health-related professions come in a close second at 14.9pc (nurses being the most common profession within this group). 50pc had a third level degree or higher. Strikingly, 74pc said that they were likely to leave Ireland in the next 6 months.