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Immigrants "do not fare as well as Irish nationals" in labour market

A new study shows that Black Africans report the highest rates of discrimination in the workplace and when looking for work.

A NEW STUDY sheds some light on the discrimination issues faced by minorities and immigrants when jobseeking and in employment in Ireland.

The report, Ethnicity and Nationality in the Irish Labour Market, is published today by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Equality Authority, and shows that Black Africans have both the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest rate of employment.

It also shows that this group reports the highest rates of discrimination both in the workplace and when looking for work in Ireland.

Renee Dempsey, CEO of the Equality Authority said:

This report shows that immigrants do not fare as well as Irish nationals in the Irish labour market. Clearly there needs to be a renewed focus on promoting equality for immigrants and for minority ethnic groups in the labour market and throughout society.

According to the report, Black African, Ethnic Minority EU and EU new member state (NMS) groups “fare worse than other national-ethnic groups in terms of both employment and unemployment, and discrimination”.

Findings

The study’s key findings include the fact that in 2010, the labour force participation rate for Asians and White EU individuals ranged between 72 per cent (Irish and UK) and 86 per cent (NMS) compared to 60 per cent for Black Africans and 65 per cent for Ethnic Minority EU individuals.

Employment rates were also lower among Black African (38 per cent) and Ethnic Minority EU (51 per cent) individuals, compared to an average employment rate of 61 per cent for the sample population.

Black Africans recorded the highest unemployment rate (36 per cent), and were four times more likely to be unemployed than White Irish individuals.

White individuals from the ‘old’ EU-13 member states recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 9 per cent, followed by Asians at 12 per cent.

Discrimination

The report also showed that in 2010, approximately 5 per cent of White Irish nationals reported having experienced discrimination while looking for work.

All national-ethnic groups, apart from White UK and White EU-13 individuals, reported substantially higher rates of discrimination in the workplace than White Irish, said the ESRI.

  • Black Africans are almost seven times more likely to report experiencing discrimination in the workplace, and seven times more likely to report having experienced discrimination when looking for work
  • Migrants who arrived in Ireland during the recession were found to be more likely to report experiencing discrimination when looking for work than those who had arrived during the boom
  • Ethnic Minority EU individuals are four times more likely to report experiencing discrimination while looking for work than White Irish nationals.
  • People in the EU NMS group are twice as likely to report experiencing discrimination in the workplace than White Irish nationals.

The study found no change over time in the relative risk of unemployment between White Irish nationals and the other national-ethnic groups. It said that compared with 2004, Black African individuals were more likely to be employed in 2010.

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