View from the Ground
The Irish economy, on balance, is in a strong position, supported by low unemployment and sustained business investment from indigenous and multinational companies. In the high-tech and finance industries the demand for skills like cybersecurity analysis, remains high. While in the construction industry, quantity surveyors are extremely sought after. This trend is being sustained by a tight labour market and an under-supply of talent, and the longer this continues the more wage pressure will increase. Organisations need to start investing in employee upskilling and reskilling programmes now, which will allow them to plug skills deficits in the short to medium term in a cost-effective way. In addition, employers are continuing to seek talent from outside of Ireland which will become even more important during a sustained period of economic uncertainty.
Mike McDonagh, Managing Director, Hays Ireland
Key Skills in Demand
- Cyber Security Analysts
- Quantity Surveyors
- Tax Managers
- Procurement Managers
- Data Scientists
Ireland posted rapid economic growth figures of nearly 8% in 2018, following an even stronger performance of 7.2% the previous year. Although these headline figures are distorted by foreign multinational enterprises’ activity, underlying domestic demand is relatively buoyant, although there were signs of cooling towards the end of the year and into 2019.
A large discrepancy exists between the wages and productivity levels of those working for multinational firms relative to those in domestic enterprises, with the potential to widen existing labour market inequalities. In addition, the female participation rate remains considerably below the EU average (the rate was 56% in 2018 relative to 68% for the EU), despite a greater proportion of women holding third-level qualifications compared to men.
Over the longer term, the economy’s ability to expand is forecast to be supported by a strong increase in the size of the working-age population due to natural increases and inward and return migration.