IT workers working at computers in a co-working space lit by natural light.
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Slight decline in open roles in pharma and IT sectors, says IrishJobs index

18 Jul 2023

The IT sector remains the fourth largest employer nationally but it has been experiencing a downward trend in vacancies for several months.

According to the latest edition of the index, job vacancies in sectors such as science, pharma and IT have declined due to economic uncertainty. The slight decline in job postings for these sectors was evident in both year-on-year and quarterly figures.

For IT, the year-on-year decline was 30pc, while the quarterly decline was 13pc. The science sector fared slightly better with a year-on-year decline of 21pc and a quarterly decline of 10pc. The pharma and science sectors’ declines in job vacancies may be attributed to a rebalancing of demand for their services which surged during the pandemic.

The IT sector’s performance may be attributed to the ongoing bout of layoffs. This quarter, the IT industry accounted for 6pc of total vacancies. However, even as it battles layoffs, the sector still remains the fourth-largest employer in Ireland.

Overall, the index for the second quarter of 2023 showed that the jobs market is stabilising. Job vacancies are currently mostly in line with pre-Covid Q2 2019 levels. The long-term picture for the jobs market is positive, with vacancies in 23 of the 39 analysed sectors remaining above pre-pandemic levels.

Remote working job vacancies have experienced a strong rebound after three successive quarterly falls, according to the index. This indicates remote working is on its way to becoming more established in Irish workplaces. The majority (9 in 10) of fully remote vacancies are offered across urban centres in Ireland by employers in Dublin (79pc), Limerick (7pc) and Cork (4pc).

Orla Moran, managing director of IrishJobs and its parent company The Stepstone Group Ireland, said that, “while economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures persist, the Irish economy continued to grow in a robust and resilient manner in Q2.”

“Jobs vacancies across most sectors appear robust and in a period of normalisation as they experience little to no change in vacancy levels on a quarterly basis, although a tightening is evident in the banking, IT, science and travel sectors.”

Moran added that “the rising cost-of-living and inflationary pressures continue to have an impact on jobseeker preferences”.

“For the second quarter running, a higher salary is ranked by applicants as the most important criteria when looking for a new job. It is pivotal that employers recognise the significance of these pressures in their hiring and recruitment strategies to attract talent in a competitive labour market.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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