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Ireland asks unemployed citizens to move away

Photo by Flickr user Julie Danielle

Ireland is asking its own citizens to move away, the Financial Times reports. In a controversial effort to reduce its unemployment and welfare costs, the Irish government is sending letters to about 6,000 unemployed people, urging them to take jobs in other EU countries. Alan Douglas, an unemployed electrician living near Dublin, was encouraged to move to Coventry, UK. “It made me feel like I was being pushed out of my own country,” Mr. Douglas told the FT.

Ireland is the first eurozone nation to navigate its bailout successfully, after enduring a series of painful cuts to government spending. Ireland’s quick recovery is incredible, considering how deeply the nation’s finances were rocked during the 2008 financial crisis, but the Emerald Isle will not emerge unscathed.

While the overall rate has been falling, one in four Irish under 25 are still unemployed. The Irish government contends that letters advertising jobs abroad are voluntary opportunities, and that no one is being forced to leave the country.

But a valuable portion of Ireland’s workforce is deciding to move abroad, and stay there. The nation is suffering from an emigration brain drain, as educated and employable citizens are moving away for the prospect of brighter futures abroad.

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