The Irish economy will shed almost 120,000 jobs in 2009 and 50,000 people will emigrate, an economic forecast warned yesterday.
The ESRI also believes the Government will be hard-pressed to pay the 3.5pc wage rise due in September under the national pay agreement.
In a Quarterly Economic Commentary, it said GNP will shrink by 4.6pc next year on top of an anticipated 2.6pc contraction for 2008.
"We now expect that average employment will fall by 117,000 in 2009," said the report.
"A fall in employment of that size will be consistent with net outward migration of 50,000, with the unemployment rate averaging 9.4pc."