Irish unemployment hits 18-year high of 14.9%
Wednesday's confirmation of rising joblessness could have been worse, but tens of thousands have emigrated this year to stronger job markets in other English-speaking countries, chiefly Britain, Australia and Canada.
Irish unemployment previously stood at 14.7 percent. It last reached 15 percent in March 1994, the year Ireland began to experience its first extended economic boom.
That Celtic Tiger economy slashed unemployment and spurred immigration — but grew overly dependent on cheap credit and property speculation. Boom turned to bust in 2008 when the global credit crunch exposed reckless lending at Irish banks. Ireland's international bailout followed in 2010.