Sure it'll never last, the old ones said, and now they can point to evidence that the Celtic Tiger has dropped off to sleep.
The Economic and Social Research Institute has crunched numbers and pondered their crystal balls, and come to the conclusion that Ireland's heading into a recession. Unemployment will creep up, from 4.5% to somewhere around 7% within the next few years. With job losses will come decreased consumer spending, as the unemployed have little to spend and those with jobs are afraid of blowing it all frivolously when it would be better to put the spare change away for the next rainy day.
In addition, the ESRI has concluded that Ireland will once again begin to export people, as was the case not so very long ago. For those who are anti-immigrant, this may come as good news. Chances are, the people who will be the first to leave will be those who came here from Eastern Europe and Northern Africa, looking for work. Once the work goes, they'll go back home or off to some other country where the economy is humming.
Where are the jobs going, to cause such a jump in unemployment? Well, they say that Bangalore, India, is lovely this time of year.
Hibernian, a financial services company, is cutting five hundred positions in Ireland and moving them to India, where the costs are lower. A well-educated Indian with but the slightest of accents can be trained to answer phones and the average Indian IT geek will fix computer glitches for much less salary than his colleague in Ireland.
Companies chasing after cheap labor set up shop in Ireland, but as costs rose, they moved on to cheaper pastures. Now India is reaping the benefits of education coupled with low wages, and Ireland is left to find yet another new strategy to win the battle over the international conglomerates and their precious jobs.