A new study published by the Economic and Social Research Institute shows that many migrant groups have higher unemployment levels despite having higher educational qualifications.  

The data on migrants born in 100 countries compares differences in educational qualifications, English-language skills, unemployment and job quality to Irish people. 

Using data from the 2016 Census, the ESRI study analyses first-generation migrants. 

It finds that most migrant groups of working age are more likely to hold a third-level qualification compared to those born in Ireland.  

Those from countries with a high rate of asylum applications to Ireland tend to have worse labour market outcomes.  

This, according to the study, may be related to the trauma and disruption experienced by protection applicants prior to and during migration, or time spent in the protection system particularly if it is prolonged.  

When it comes to unemployment, migrant groups from Africa have higher unemployment rates.  

The report notes that those of Black ethnicity have a higher unemployment rate than those of White ethnicity, but says the disadvantage for those born in many African countries remains even within ethnic groups.  

Of those that are employed it finds that migrants from many Asian countries, as well as North America, are more likely to work in a professional or managerial job than those who are Irish born.  

It also finds that migrants born in EU countries have lower rates of unemployment than other migrants. 

However, among those who are working, EU migrants are less likely to work in high-skilled jobs. 

The report's authors say this is likely due to differences in the entry routes from different countries of birth: non-EU migrants who enter Ireland via the work permit system come to work in high-skilled jobs; EU migrants have unrestricted access and do not need to be highly skilled. 

ESRI Origin and Integration Report
Immigrant Council of Ireland Impact Report  

Meanwhile, the Immigrant Council of Ireland also launched its 2019 annual report today.  

The human rights organisation and independent law centre received 5,035 calls last year which was an increase of 1,500 calls on 2018. 

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the chief executive of the Council Brian Killoran said that increase in calls is being maintained at present, with many immigrant frontline workers seeking information in the current pandemic about their immigration status which "can be fragile".

He said the situation highlights the significant impact of migrants working in key sectors including healthcare and the need to support them and to give them security.

Overall, 19.6% of the calls were about citizenship and 19.5% about family reunification, while 14% of phone queries centered on EU Treaty rights and 8.8% were about employment permits.  

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The report also highlights the stark reality of human trafficking.  

In 2019, the Immigrant Council provided legal advice and assistance to 27 victims of trafficking - all but four were trafficked for sexual exploitation.  

The number of people trafficked in 2018 was 23. 

All of those trafficked in 2019 were women and according to the report, some were girls when they were first trafficked.  

Last year, the Immigrant Council of Ireland provided to support to 46 people who reported a racist incident to it, which was up from 25 people who reported such an incident in 2018.