Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to Eurostat data showing that citizens of other EU states living here had a higher employment rate than Irish nationals in 2012; and the reason, in his view, this is the case.
Reply from Minister Richard Bruton: Higher employment rates among migrants when compared to the native populations in their destination countries is a common and observable feature internationally. This may be explained by several factors:
Firstly, movers from the EU-12 (i.e. all recently accessed countries including EU-10 and EU-2) tend to be on average younger than the overall population in their destination countries, this will impact on relativities with native populations which will have a larger proportion of people outside of the working age.
Often migrants enter a country without family members for both practical reasons and due to the typical age profile of migrants which are often relatively young and may not yet have started a family. This can affect statistics in that migrants may not have the same level of non-working adult dependents as native populations.
Furthermore, mobile workers invariably have fewer ties to their receiving country. They have a predisposition to exit the country during periods of economic downturn, reflecting the fact that the main reason for their move abroad was to find work.
In sixteen EU Member States, working age citizens of other EU countries had a higher rate of employment than the rate for nationals of their receiving country. Rates were highest in Slovenia (80.2), Latvia (76.6), the Netherlands (76.1), the United Kingdom (75.9) and Poland (75.8). The gap between the average employment rate of working age citizens of other EU countries and the local population is highest in Italy, the UK, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg. It should be noted that using the EU LFS to estimate the number and characteristics of resident foreigners, and in particular "EU foreigners", can suffer limitations. Among these limitations, in the case of Slovenia, Latvia and Poland, are the small sample size which affects the reliability of data broken down by citizenship.
In recent years the annual EU Labour Force Surveys have shown that working age citizens from the EU-10 (the group of ten countries that joined the European Union in 2004) and the EU-2 (Bulgaria and Romania acceded in 2007) had a higher rate of employment on average when they moved abroad than the residents in the receiving EU-15 countries (by a difference of +9 percentage points in 2010). Since 85% of the EU-10 as well as the EU-2 nationals living in other Member States are of working age (i.e. aged 15-64) compared to 67% of the total resident population, intra-EU movers from the EU-10 and EU-2 countries are more likely to be in the economically productive period of their lives than the native population in the receiving countries.