Restructuring in Ireland (Factsheet)
Ireland’s economy is relatively small and trade-dependent and is considered one of the most globalised and open in the world. It suffered disproportionate damage following the 2008–2009 global recession as a large construction and financial sector bust revealed widespread misallocation of resources – human and financial – in the preceding boom. Over 60% of construction sector employment has disappeared since 2008 and employment levels have shrunk by 15% overall. On the positive side, unemployment – while high at 14.6% – has been stable since late 2011 and the economy is experiencing output growth – unlike other Member States in financial assistance programmes of the EU, IMF and ECB Troika. Cost competitiveness has improved since 2008 and Ireland continues to attract both high levels of foreign direct investment and foreign human capital. In 2012, 18% of the workforce was foreign-born and 44% of foreign-born workers were graduates.