14% of Jobseeker Benefit payments go to non-Irish nationals

New research shows 14% of people in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit entitlements are non-Irish nationals.

That represents an under-representation of the group, compared to the proportion of the workforce they comprise.

A new report published by the ESRI looks at the proportion of non-nationals in receipt of key social security benefits during January of this year.

The research shows a mixed picture with regards to various welfare payments.

"There was no consistent pattern of over-representation among recipients of social welfare benefits," said author of the report, Emma Quinn, who is also the National Programme Coordinator with the European Migration Network.

There was a distinction, she found, between the two types of unemployment payment - Jobseeker's Benefit, paid to those covered by their past PRSI contributions, and Allowance, a lower rate paid to those who do not qualify for Benefit.

"I would consider benefits paid to people who have made PRSI contributions - contributory jobseekers' benefit - non-Irish nationals are under-represented among all recipients of those types of benefits," she said.

"[But] non-Irish nationals are over-represented among recipients of means-tested benefits - so those are benefits paid to people whose contribution has expired."

Migrant workers make up 15.4% of the Irish workforce, but only 14.7% of Jobseekers Benefit recipients. The same group makes up 17.5% of Allowance recipients.

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