From The Irish TImes:
While the question of migrant workers, and immigration in general, tends to be contentious, growing employment can only be good for the ecomony. The extra spending generated has a knock-on effect which shoould allow the growth to continue in the coming months.
- The number in employment rose to 2,017,000 as of last May, exceeding two million for the first time in the State's history, writes Marc Coleman, Economics Editor.
Figures released yesterday by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show the rise in employment continues to be driven by a surge in immigrants, who now account for one in 10 people in the workforce.
The Government welcomed the figures as a vindication of its employment policies, but analysts have questioned whether the growth in jobs is sustainable.
Meanwhile, a separate survey by Chambers Ireland suggests that employment growth has remained strong in the months since May.
According to the CSO's latest Quarterly National Household Survey, 87,800 jobs were created between May 2005 and May 2006. Over the same period, the number of immigrants in Ireland rose by some 86,900, according to CSO estimates of population and migration, also published yesterday. The construction sector contributed 20,300 new jobs, of which 10,700 were filled by foreign nationals. This makes it the main driver of employment growth and the biggest employer of foreign nationals.