July 13, 2012 05:39
The IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index for the second quarter 2012 reports a 13 per cent increase in the number of job vacancies with 23 out of 28 sectors experiencing an increase.
The majority of private sector industries show a modest increase with export led industries showing the highest. Year on year, there has been a decrease of 3 per cent comparing Q2 2012 with the same quarter in 2011. However, the dip experienced in the second half of 2011 has largely arrested and the Jobs Index reveals a positive picture overall.
Sectors that have experienced a significant increase compared with Q1 2012 include: Production, Manufacturing and Materials (+147 per cent); Science, Pharmaceuticals and Food (+60 per cent); Engineering and Utilities (+42 per cent). Since the low point in 2009 through to mid 2010, these sectors in addition to a buoyant IT industry have experienced continued and at times strong growth in terms of the number of jobs advertised.
• Production, manufacturing, materials (+147%)
• Science, Pharmaceuticals and Food (+60%)
• Engineering and utilities (+42%)
• Education, childcare, training (+53%)
According to the IrishJobs.ie report, sectors that saw a decrease in jobs in Q2 2012 compared with the previous quarter are: Telecoms (-30 per cent); Transport and Motor (-6 per cent) and Publishing (-11 per cent).
Dr Stephen Kinsella, University of Limerick and author of the report commented: “A gradual recovery continues, increasing confidence that in certain sectors at least recovery is in progress in terms of demand for labour. The IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index is a good leading indicator of the state of the Irish labour market because it gives a sense of how employers are expecting the future to look like.”
The IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index measures the number of jobs advertised online across the main recruitment websites in Ireland. Jane Lorigan, Managing Director, Saongroup.com Europe comments: “We began to see an upward trend in jobs advertised online at the close of 2010. This has continued albeit with a dip in the second half of 2011 returning to steady growth in 2012. The improvement in Ireland’s competitiveness (and the recent signs of improving consumer confidence) reinforces a picture of gradual recovery.”
The jobs picture overall is reasonably positive particularly when considered in the context of an unemployment rate of above 14 per cent in Ireland. Demand is down in the Irish economy. Final domestic demand (private consumption, investment, government expenditure all combined), in Ireland from 2007 to Q4 2011 dropped about -26 per cent during that period.
The Q2 2012 index results are best understood in this context. The decline reported at the close of 2011 has largely arrested. A 13 per cent increase in jobs advertised in the second quarter 2012 alongside a -3 per cent drop from the same quarter last year emphasise both the depth of the slump at the end of last year and the pace of the subsequent rebound. The increase has been driven by specific sectors such as Production and Manufacturing, achieving large gains.
Rebound in specific sectors
First, relative to the index quarter, Q2, 2009, there have been some impressive gains in almost all areas except construction and telecoms and related services. This reflects the low point Q2 2009 represented for the Irish economy, and the contraction of the construction and related sectors like environment, health and safety thereafter.
Second, relative to this time last year, more modest gains have been made in areas like Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (+40 per cent); Education (+54 per cent); Science and Pharmaceutical (+45 per cent) as well as Childcare, General Management and Production, Manufacturing, and Materials. Declines are evident again in Construction and related services. Overall however this is a very strong performance and evidence of an upward trend.
Third, relative to the previous quarter, we are seeing some really impressive gains. It’s a good performance.
Spotlight: Sales and Manufacturing
The index replicates sectoral trends observed in the official data. For example, we know that from the NCB Purchasing Manufacturers Index that manufacturing output is growing steadily, as new orders have come in, driven by export led growth in this sector, implying employment in that sector will continue to expand.
Sales jobs are in constant demand, although they haven’t experienced the type of growth we can see in manufacturing. Sales jobs are important to achieving wider growth in the long term. Jobs in the sector have been hailed as ‘recession proof’ alluding to the link between a strong sales team with the skills to sell both in Ireland and internationally to generate new business. The increase in Sales jobs has been very positive relative to Q2 2009.
Regionally there is evidence of a change in the fortunes of smaller cities like Limerick, which is positive for once. However the report shows a sharp drop in jobs advertised in Waterford. Other cities track the average rather well, which is to be expected since they compose so much of the total jobs advertised, particularly in the case of Dublin.
Relative to the second quarter of 2010, jobs in Dublin are showing a marked increase over time, but a sharp downturn relative to the last quarter. In contrast with Dublin, jobs in Cork and Galway are surging ahead while up until this quarter jobs in Limerick had been falling consistently and Waterford has experienced a large downturn. Overall, as before, it’s a mixed picture for Ireland’s cities, with some experiencing large increases and others, sustained declines.
Spotlight: Jobs in Limerick and Waterford
National statistics and our own work on the Jobs Index show that Limerick and Waterford are regions suffering more than others in terms of unemployment. What job categories exhibit a demand for labour within the region? Clearly, Sales stand out, at 17 per cent for Waterford in particular, followed by Manufacturing and Production, and Customer Service.
Dr Stephen Kinsella, concluded: “The IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index is trending upward, recovering gains lost at the end of last year to bring us almost to the same level as Q2 2011. There is much to be positive about in this report, sounding a note of cautious optimism at the receipt of some good news, for once!”
The IrishJobs.ie Online Jobs Index report looks at all corporate jobs advertised on IrishJobs.ie and Jobs.ie between 1/04/12 and 31/06/12.
Stephen Kinsella is a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick. He is the author of Ireland in 2050: How we will be Living and Understanding Ireland’s Economic Crisis: Prospects for Recovery. His research spans the area of computable economics, health economics, and experimental economics.
Quarter 2, 2009 is the reference month for the IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index.