Two hands holding the sides of a pink piggy bank.
Image: © Monster Ztudio/

Pharma manufacturing salaries see rise during Covid-19

25 Jun 2020

The latest Morgan McKinley salary report indicates that areas such as supply chain and technology remain largely ‘bulletproof’ during Covid-19.

Covid-19 has impacted virtually every industry, though some more than others. Jobs and salaries in retail, tourism, aviation and construction were almost immediately hit due to the pandemic, while other industries were impacted more gradually.

The latest Morgan McKinley Irish salary guide, which analyses pay across a range of professions and sectors, was delayed to allow time to assess how the initial impact of the crisis would affect salaries for the remainder of the year.

Morgan McKinley’s global FDI director, Trayc Keevans, said sectors such as pharma, medtech, healthcare, payments and e-learning have been performing positively in Ireland throughout the crisis.

“Disciplines such as supply chain and technology remain largely ‘bulletproof’. As a direct impact of Covid-19 and ongoing Brexit uncertainty before that, demand for all levels of supply chain and procurement professionals also shows no signs of abating,” she said.

“We have seen some early indicators of salary appreciation in pockets of the pharma manufacturing sector, where operatives have been financially incentivised because of the risks of Covid-19. This has varied from a 10pc to 50pc uplift in hourly pay and, as a minimum, pay has remained stable for this cohort of talent.”

In addition to the manufacturing needs in the pharma sector, demand for IT skills hasn’t gone away. However, since Ireland has previously relied heavily on bringing some key tech skills from overseas to meet the demand from expanding multinationals, a reduction in travel may shrink the talent pool.

“Current travel restrictions will hamper global talent migration into Ireland in the near term, driving employers to consider locally based talent until such constraints are lifted,” Keevans added.

Financial sector more mixed

While pharma and tech remain strong in terms of jobs and salaries, Keevans said the financial sector is more mixed.

“The demand for fund accountants, compliance, asset management and insolvency professionals remains strong,” she said. “On the contrary, the drop in demand for retail banking professionals and contraction of hiring is expected to see a drop in salaries in the region of 15pc.”

Keevans noted that the crisis has also hit young people harder and faster than any other group. “Covid-19 has seen employers reduce or call time on internship programmes and produced a reluctance to commit to hiring graduates with no experience,” she said.

“Overall, Covid-19 will have a profound impact on future economic activities. As we move into a cautious easement of lockdown conditions with no imminent widespread treatment or vaccination, it is likely that we will have to learn to manage under the threat of recurring restrictions for the foreseeable future.

“We can therefore expect a blended approach from employers to remote and office-based working, offsetting the convenience, reduced overheads, and social connectivity benefits, which both clearly offer.”

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading