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European Job Market

Employment in Ireland


The economy of Ireland is defined mainly by the Hi-tech industry, trade and investment. During the 1990s Ireland experienced high economic growth, leading the economies of Europe in terms of growth. Ireland was referred to as the Celtic Tiger. During the financial crisis of 2008, Ireland was among the hardest hit countries in Europe. Economic growth slowly started to return in 2010. Ireland's low corporate tax rate is regarded as an important engine for economic growth.


Ireland has a population of some 5.1 million citizens (2022). Contrary to the trend of an aging population in the European Union, the population of Ireland is the youngest in the EU. Ireland actually experienced a baby boom just before the 2008 financial crisis.

English is the common language, Irish (or Gaelic) is spoken daily by just a small percentage of the population.


Ireland is traditionally a country known for its emigration. Many people have migrated to the United Kingdom and the United States. Emigration was at its peak during and after the Great Famine (or Potato Famine). Since the 1990s there has been increasing migration to Ireland, particularly from Eastern European countries.


Ireland was the very first European Union member state to enter into a recession following the outburst of the financial crisis in 2008. As its economy, like the Spanish, heavily relied on real estate investments. Ireland developed substantial economic problems as banks refused new loans. The unemployment rate increased to 12.5% in late 2011. Especially the services industry suffered large job losses.

Working in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland has chosen not to participate in the EU Blue Card program, at this time. There are alternatives for highly-qualified workers to obtain a special work permit for Ireland.
The following government agencies provide more information:

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service

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