HomeJobsJobs vacancies plummet by 30pc as major employment boost predicted

Jobs vacancies plummet by 30pc as major employment boost predicted


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A big recruitment company’s new hiring monitor says there has been a “cautious” start to 2024 in the professional jobs market.

There was a “significant” 14pc fall in job openings as hiring was hesitant in the first three months of the year.

The report also reveals that employers are pushing for staff to work more days “onsite”, according to the Morgan McKinley Ireland Quarterly Employment Monitor.

Referring to the decline in job openings, the report says the contraction “reflects broader economic uncertainties and a shift in employment expectations at the beginning of the year”.

There was a fall of over 2pc in professional jobseekers in the early months of the year since the end of last year. The year on year drop in their numbers was dramatic – at over 31pc.

The report points to a more “conservative” approach by professional jobseekers to changing jobs without secured offers.

But there are positive developments “buoying” the jobs market and new positions are predicted due to IDA investment in financial services, life sciences, manufacturing and technology.

Salaries have remained stable but skills shortages are leading to pay hikes for surveyors, tax professionals, pension specialists, and cybersecurity experts.

The report says a “notable trend across all industries is the increasing requirement for onsite work”.

It says this is especially impacting technology professionals who were used to more flexible arrangements before the pandemic.

“Additionally, the ongoing accommodation crisis in Ireland continues to hinder the hiring and integration of overseas talent, further complicating the employment landscape,” it says.

Trayc Keevans, global FDI director at Morgan McKinley Ireland, said the technology sector has seen a significant uptick in demand for permanent jobs due to the initiation of long-term digital transformation projects, mainly in Dublin.

“This demand is anticipated to extend to contract positions as initial project phases conclude,” she said.

However, she said the market for daily contractors has fluctuated, initially decreasing due to cost-cutting measures but showing signs of recovery as the first quarter of the year ended.

The financial services sector in Ireland is hiring steadily, with a rise in roles like regulatory compliance analysts and data governance managers due to new regulations, she said.

She said new regulations, like the auto-enrolment pension scheme that is due to start in January 2025, are reshaping skill requirements.

“In Dublin, the demand for accounting and finance professionals remains strong, particularly for tax managers and newly qualified accountants from ‘Big 4’ firms,” she said.

“However, regional markets have seen a slight decline in hiring, partly due to professionals choosing to stay in their current roles, attracted by better salaries and career prospects in practice settings.”

She said overall recruitment remains challenging due to ongoing talent shortages, which is further exacerbated by qualified accountants migrating to countries like Australia. This has intensified the scarcity of talent in this sector.

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