There really is a migration crisis in Ireland right now. Unlike the mass emmigration of the past, this one is, fortunately, only temporary.
In the history of our hostel in Toronto, we have never had so many Irish backpackers on work/travel visas. There are so many right now, we can’t seem to be able to get an accurate count.
As close as we can figure, there are presently 21 Irish Nationals in residence at the present time. That’s is fully ten percent of our capacity!
Ireland has been hit particularly hard by this worldwide economic downturn and any young people have obtained working visas, particularly recent University graduates.
Ireland has just experienced the worst year in history and the ranks of the unemployed are expected to rise to an unprecedented figure of about 400,000.
Two years ago, Ireland had the second lowest unemployment rate among the 15 EU countries. Today, they have the second highest rate, hovering close to 12% unemployment!
Many of our Irish guests have graduated recently with professional degrees such as architecture. And what is especially surprising are the number of tradesmen who have come seeking work.
We have qualified and licenced carpenters, plumbers and electricians who have arrived seeking employment.
These tradesmen are willing to work in the mines and oilfields of Northern Alberta and the territories of the Northwest and Nunavut!
We put out an impromptu call for any Irish visitors who were in our common area two nights ago. The pic below gives you an idea of how many are in residence right now!