The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released figures that show a worrying 81pc increase in emigration between 2006 to 2010; bringing net outward migration from Ireland to its highest level since the late 1980s.
The report found that Irish people accounted for 42pc those emigrating and that 27,700 Irish emigrated during the first four months of this year, with an estimated 5,000 Irish people emigrating each month.
Figures published in the Quarterly National Household Survey reveal more worrying increases in the overall unemployment rate, which has risen from 12pc to 13.6pc in the last year, while long-term unemployment currently stands at 5.9pc compared to 2.6pc in 2009.
Reacting to these figures, the Union of Students Ireland (USI) has urged the importance of taking action against escalating unemployment and brain drain.
“The figures released reiterate that the unemployment crisis is hampering any hope of reigniting the smart economy,” said USI president Gary Redmond.
As the majority of those emigrating leave for Canada, Australia and the US, Redmond added: “Future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs of this country are given no choice but to join the dole queue or emigrate … the knowledge and skills needed to reignite the economy leave on every plane departing from Dublin Airport,” he added.