The Irish office of recruitment specialist Hays said 21% of those who have emigrated headed to Britain, 23% went to mainland Europe, another 15% headed for Australia/New Zealand and 13% made for the Middle East.
Hays quizzed construction workers and professionals earning between €35,000 and €120,00 a year.
Hays Ireland Construction & Property senior operations manager, Paul O’Donnell said: “Some 42% of the respondents have left Ireland without their families, a circumstance which makes this transition abroad even more difficult, but leaves us hopeful that they will return when work picks up.”
The survey also found that 70% of those questioned are not confident about the Irish building sector’s chances of recovery over the next three years.
The research also showed that around the same high percentage of architects, engineers and construction managers still living in Ireland are planning to move abroad if there is no sign of a pick-up in the next few years.
O’Donnell said: “From conversations with our customers, many people believe recovery could take between five and ten years and to achieve even this modest ambition, Government investment will need to play a leading role.”