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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 2 July 2022

It's not easy getting work in Ireland if your skin is the wrong colour...

Non-nationals and certain ethnicities are reporting worrying (and varying) levels of employer bias, and apparently the recession has nothing to do with it.

IRELAND’S WORKPLACES ARE becoming increasingly tough places for both immigrants and minorities, according to hard-hitting new research from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

However, the study shows that the greater levels of discrimination being seen in Ireland are more attributable to changing attitudes towards minorities rather than the effects of the recent recession.

The findings themselves are worrying:

  • Non-Irish nationals consistently report higher rates of discrimination than Irish nationals;
  • Ethnicity rather than nationality is especially important it seems – Black Africans and EU nationals of minority ethnicity are particularly likely to report greater discrimination when looking for work;
  • Most non-white ethnic groups are more likely than White Irish or other White Europeans (UK nationals for example) to report discrimination in Ireland

The report finds that discrimination between White Irish nationals and ‘acceptable, non-ethnic’ non-nationals actually decreased between 2004 and 2010 suggesting the recession is not in itself responsible for the trends being seen.


Racial prejudice

The study rather suggests that between 2004 and 2010 Ireland went from being a country with little experience of immigration to one with a great deal of experience, and given employer attitudes have changed to only non-white minorities and Black Africans, discrimination based on racial prejudice and a preference for White immigrants is the real issue.

Ethnic minorities are thus described as “particularly vulnerable in the Irish labour market”.

The study’s findings were arrived at by comparing the findings of the 2004 and 2010 Quarterly National Household Surveys run by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

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