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    UK figures show no first-quarter increase

    By Noreen Bowden | August 25, 2008

    Figures from the UK show that there has been no increase in the number of Irish people registering to work or access benefits in the UK, according to the Irish Times. The newspaper reports that 2,530 Irish nationals registered for national insurance numbers in the first quarter of 2008. This is similar to the figures from last year; a total of 10,500 people registered last year. The numbers ranged from 9,000 to 1,200 in the four preceding years.

    The newspaper quotes Joe O’Brien, the policy officer at Crosscare Migrant Project, who notes that the CMP has not seen any significant rise in the numbers going to Britain.

    “There’s no noticeable increase in the number of people coming in there. There is maybe a slight increase in people asking about what their options are, but it wouldn’t be motivated by unemployment – it would largely be people who are in work and are wondering, because they have heard a lot of talk about recession, what their options are.?

    Mr O’Brien noted that there has been a steady stream of emigrants to the UK even during the boom years, adding, “That’s a reflection of the fact that immigration is not just about economics.?

    Anecdotal accounts of emigration have risen in recent months, but these have proven difficult to quantify. Recent CSO figures show that emigration rose to 45,300 in the year to the end of April. Centres in the US have been reporting an increase in the number new arrivals since the autumn.

    Read the Irish Times article.

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