Ireland’s economic growth (1992–2007) was fuelled by availability of capital, but also through access to cheap flexible labour. This article attempts to provide evidence that the Irish state played a central role in facilitating and shaping labour supply, a role that has resulted in the clustering of non-Irish workers in particular sectors of the labour market. Worker mobility across national borders takes place at the intersection of global economic trends and local or regional labour market development, thus creating global consistency in the operation of local or regional markets and demand for workers; however, each labour market is unique as each creates its own local and global social relations. The state, as a main actor in the formulation of immigration policies and in shaping labour market structure, has a central role in affecting the nature of the interconnection between global and local. The analysis considers how Ireland’s immigration policies, as they reflect global labour trends, contribute to the clustering of certain migrants in particular sectors. The method of analysis involves a three-step numerical analysis of clustering: (1) percentages, (2) ODDS ratios and (3) two-step cluster analysis. Results suggest the existence of economic clustering and channelling of workers into specific jobs linked back to immigration policies and recruitment drives.
Source: Local Economy, published online before print July 24, 2014.