The purpose of this dissertation is to estimate the impact of foreign nationals on the
wages and employment levels of native Irish workers. Further aims are to analyse the
demographic and educational characteristics of the immigrants, identify the reasons why
they chose Ireland as a destination and investigate their role in the Irish labour market.
For the research both primary and secondary sources were used to collect information.
My research has confirmed that the majority of immigrants have come from the EU 12
accession countries; they are highly educated and have travelled to Ireland for primarily
mainly economic reasons. The data suggest provides evidence that in some sectors
immigrants have taken roles that the native workers found undesirable, while in other
sectors there is evidence that immigrants are filling roles where there is insufficient
qualified workers among the native population.
To analyse the impact on wages and employment, I have used econometric techniques
which aim to discover the relationship between immigration related variables and to
measure the strength of the relationship between these variables.
My results show a negative immigration impact on the employment rates of natives over
the period 2005 - 2011.However, conflicting effects have been found when I performed
the analysis of the impact of immigration on wages. Each enterprise sector was
investigated individually over the period 2009 – 2001. Negative impacts were found in
nine enterprise sectors (Industry, Construction, Wholesale and Retail, Transport and
storage, Information and communication, Financial Insurance and real estate activities,
Administrative and support services activities, Health, Other Services). Positive
immigration impacts on wages were found in four enterprise sectors (Accommodation
and food service, Public administration and Defence, Education and Health). In these
four sectors the evidence suggests that the presence of foreign nationals may cause wages to increase.