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Overall score

Score by Indicator

in 2016 6.3
0 2.5 5 7.5 10

Key drivers

Labour market participation

The labour market is expected to benefit from rising participation rates. Demographics have been positive, with most of the increase in population coming from working age migrants.

Talent mismatch

Ireland’s skills mismatch has improved, suggesting the imbalance between the skills employers are seeking and those workers are offering has declined. While employers are still finding it difficult to find in-demand skills, the situation has seen some improvement.

Overall wage pressure

Wage pressure on Irish firms eased across the economy, as overall real wage growth slowed considerably this year.


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View from the ground

The Irish economy continues to go from strength to strength. The past twelve months has seen a real resurgence of activity in the construction sector, particularly much-needed investment in commercial development. Over the coming year we should see significant spending commitments in public infrastructure. Housing remains an issue and whilst demand continues to rise, we are yet to see this translate into significant new build volumes. Staff shortages prevail in the construction sectors, and across the board there is an imbalance between supply and demand of many skills and professions. Salaries are starting to rise more than incrementally and renewed recruitment activity in the public sector is fuelling an already heated employment market.

Simon Winfield, Managing Director, Hays Ireland

Country Profile

There are indications of less pressure in Ireland’s labour market relative to recent past. The country’s lower Hays Global Skills Index score this year reflects that.

Ireland’s economic growth has continued to outpace other countries in the Eurozone, which all else being equal would tend to increase demand for labour.

However, Ireland’s working age population is growing. The UN forecasts 2.1 per cent growth between 2015 and 2020, partly due to the 1980 baby boom now bolstering the size of the working age population and partly through net inward migration.

In addition, Ireland’s unemployment rate remains above the country’s 2000-2008 average. These factors are helping to limit the difficulties employers might have attracting and retaining workers.

Key skills in demand

  • Software developers
  • Bilingual sales roles (esp. German)
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Auditors

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