Job creation increased compared to last year and there has been an increase in the number of opportunities in rural regions outside of Leinster.
As the year draws to a close, we in the Careers section like to crunch the numbers on all of the jobs announcements we’ve reported on over the year to see what insights can be gleaned, which months were the best ones to look for work in and how the year stacks up to the one that preceded it.
Last year, we reported on almost 15,000 confirmed roles created across Ireland, almost half of which were created in Dublin. It averaged out at 1,236 jobs announced per month. Large multinational tech firms such as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Microsoft, Indeed and Northern Trust confirmed massive expansions that created thousands of jobs between them.
It was a tough act to follow. Nevertheless, 2018 did exactly that, and by no slim margin. We reported on more than 18,000 confirmed new tech positions created across the island of Ireland over the last 12 months, representing almost 22pc growth when compared to last year. It averages out at a little more than 1,500 roles created per month.
The most successful month by far was June, which saw more than 3,400 roles announced. This was followed by in September with more than 2,300 roles and October with more than 2,200. On the lower end, one of the most profitable months for jobs in 2017, May, was actually one of the worst in 2018, with fewer than 700 jobs announced. This somewhat defies my previous theory that job creation bursts are subconsciously influenced by the agrarian calendar.
Amazon Web Services dominates
The competition for the largest announcement for the year was instantly won in June when online retail giant Amazon revealed plans to create a staggering 1,000 jobs in Ireland upon opening a new 170,000 sq ft office in Dublin 4. The new roles at the time of reporting included security specialists, big-data specialists, DevOps engineers, software development engineers, data centre engineers and more.
Coming in second place was the news from telecoms operator Eir that it is recruiting 750 people across Ireland – 350 in Sligo with the remaining 400 spread between Limerick and Cork. In Northern Ireland, meanwhile, FinTrU announced a massive 605 financial services roles in Derry and Belfast to be filled over the next five years.
Regional development at work
In terms of provincial breakdowns – though they are impossible to predict with total accuracy since some jobs announcements failed to specify the number of jobs per location – there were some interesting changes year on year.
In Leinster, more than 7,000 roles were created, a significant number of which were Dublin-based. This, interestingly, is a significant decrease from last year, which was dominated by growth near the capital. Meanwhile, the number of jobs created in Munster, Ulster and Connacht all increased when compared to last year, particularly in Connacht, which had more than 2,000 roles announced this year.
This increase in the number of jobs outside of Leinster arguably affirms the success of the Government’s bid to encourage more rural development by luring foreign direct investment to Ireland and offering attractive packages to set up outside the capital. However, the proportion of Leinster jobs created in Dublin is still inordinately high, with the capital city making up more than three-quarters of the province’s announcements. It’s difficult to say that the Government has been entirely successful in decentralising Ireland’s economy given that the greater Leinster area is still being left in the cold.
The last year revealed some interesting trends that may provide insight into what the 2019 jobs landscape will look like in Ireland. The impact of Brexit on Irish job creation cannot be overstated.
On the one hand, many companies cited Brexit anxieties and a desire to maintain access to the EU single market as being part of their motivation to set up in Ireland. On the other hand, the UK and Irish economy are extremely interlinked. Strife on one side of the Irish Sea is sure to bleed into the island. If the deal should go ahead, which is still itself up for debate, it remains to be seen whether the net economic effect will be positive or negative.
Meanwhile, analysing the roles created by sector revealed that the life sciences industry represents almost 15pc of all tech jobs we reported on in Ireland. The world of finance – including fintech and financial services – made up roughly 10pc of all reported jobs. While Ireland has for a long time had a strong, vibrant ecosystem in both these fields, finance in particular seemed to be largely influenced by the looming Brexit deadline.