Previously published in the Irish Examiner
AUSTERITY, unemployment, and the recession have affected some groups in our society more than others.
A generation of Irish youth has been, and remains, disproportionally impacted.
Almost 10% of our young people emigrated during the recession. That equates to over 30,000 young people, aged between 15 and 24, leaving each year.
Emigration has steadily worsened the longer the crisis has dragged on. Just under 20,000 Irish emigrated in 2009. This rose to 30,000 in 2010 and then reached over 50,000 in 2013. Some have questioned if this is actually “forced” emigration.
The Higher Education Authority has emphasised that not everybody emigrating is doing so because they have to and, in fact, the increasing employment of graduates overseas shows that the higher education system is producing graduates who are in “high demand” internationally.
Michael Noonan, the finance minister, also captured the views of the so-called…