This chapter sketches the contours of precarious employment in Ireland in the first decade of the new millennium, and assesses its nature, causes and consequences over the past decade and a half of concentrated economic, social and demographic change. As an open economy and liberal welfare state within the European Union that has explicitly targeted foreign direct investment, Ireland provides a particularly interesting field within which to examine precarious employment. The analysis unfolds in five sections. Following an outline of the essential elements of precarious employment, the second section briefly situates the current Irish labour market in the context of the past decade and a half of economic, employment, social and demographic change and, since 1997, Ireland’s adherence to the European Employment Strategy. The third section describes prevalent forms of precarious employment in Ireland. The following section points out that the groups most strongly represented historically in precarious employment, that is, women and young people, are now joined by male and to a lesser extent female migrant workers. It links this development to the confluence of labour market demand in the context of changing patterns of migration, particularly within the European Union. The concluding section considers the implications of the analysis of developments in the Irish context for forging comparative analysis of precarious employment, pointing in particular to the role of migration within the EU and ‘the changing geography of production’ (Krugman 1997: 51) not only in its positive but also in its negative manifestations.
|Title of host publication||Gender and the Contours of Precarious Employment|
|Editors||Leah F. Vosko, Martha MacDonald, Iain Campbell|
|ISBN (Print)||13-978-0-415-49236-2 (hbk)|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2009|