The Irish jobs market has experienced an increase in job vacancies in the first three months of this year as industries prepare for the steady lifting of lockdown restrictions.
That is according to the latest Irish Jobs Index from e-recruitment platform IrishJobs.ie.
The index, which analyses quarterly job vacancy data reveals that job postings for Q1 2021, were up 34 per cent when compared to Q4 2020, showing early signs of an accelerated jobs market for the year ahead.
According to the data, overall jobs vacancies increased by 5% when compared to the same period in 2020, with industries including science, pharmaceuticals, and food (+102%, YoY), medical professionals and healthcare (+97%) and IT (+171%) showing the most resilience over the past twelve months.
Despite long periods of lockdown restrictions, the construction sector also experienced significant levels of growth in Q1 where job vacancies within the sector grew by 45% QoQ.
This growth comes as the Irish construction sector began to reopen last week, resulting in job postings within the sector increasing by 7% overall when compared to 2020.
Although overall job vacancy figures point to positive trends in Ireland, sectoral data shows that sectors that remain closed under current public health restrictions, are experiencing subdued hiring activity. These industries include: hotel and catering ( -75% YoY), beauty, haircare, leisure, and sport (-72% YoY), retail, wholesale and purchasing ( -46% YoY), and education, childcare, and training (-26% YoY) The Index shows all but four counties experienced a rise in vacancies over the first quarter of the year.
Irishjobs.ie said that Ireland’s main cities have proven to be particularly resilient in the face of the third Covid-19 lockdown with all experiencing a rise in vacancy numbers quarter-on-quarter of 8 per cent in Cork.
Vacancies increased by 47 per cent in Dublin (QoQ), by 45 per cent in Limerick, by 35 per cent in Waterford and by 21 per cent in Galway.
Commenting on the latest Index, Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie, said:“According to our latest data, the Irish jobs market is steadily recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is an extremely encouraging sign as we look towards the next twelve months.” Ms Moran added: “Looking towards the year ahead, overall general economic predictions are positive, with the Government’s latest Stability Programme Update projecting upward momentum in 2021, with increased consumer spending and, vitally, more people in work.
“However, this will be a challenging process and one that remains entirely dependent on the course of the vaccine rollout and the evolution of the virus, which we know are highly changeable.
“For this reason, the next few months will be crucial. Representative bodies and the government must work together to ensure that there is a reasonable balance between public safety and the ability for newly reopened businesses to serve customers with as few impediments as possible.”