Collins McNicholas has seen a 6% growth in registered job vacancies in the first half of 2017 compared with the first half of 2016. The number of candidates registered with Collins McNicholas is up by 24% in the same period. The growth in jobs shows a buoyant job market with candidates willing to switch jobs to take advantage of more promising opportunities. Collins McNicholas opened its Limerick office in February this year and that has partly contributed to the increase in candidates. However, candidates have more confidence in the job market now and they are seeing lots of opportunities out there. The unemployment rate for June 2017 was 6.3%, down from 6.7% in January 2017 and down from 8.3% in June 2016. The government expects the unemployment rate to fall below 5% next year.
Brexit offers both a challenge and an opportunity with more companies in the UK considering relocating to Ireland. Foreign investment has continued to grow and IDA Ireland has reported a comparable financial investment from FDI as in 2016 but with a greater number of jobs being created. Job announcements from FDI approvals have risen from 9,000 in the first half of 2016 to 11,000 in 2017.
Announcements from Microsoft of 600 jobs, and Zendesk of 500, show the demand for technology professionals is still growing strong. Financial services and life sciences continue to perform well – Northern trust announced 400 jobs for its Limerick office and MSD announced 330 jobs for its Carlow and Cork sites.
Niall Murray, Managing Director of Collins McNicholas, commented on the labour market by saying, ‘it has been a very positive start to 2017 for job creation and I expect this to continue in the second half of the year. Our clients are very positive about the prospects of job growth and we are seeing a very strong demand for experienced professionals in the medical device and biopharma sectors, particularly for niche engineering skills, and for software developers and finance professionals. With the growth in demand for the top professional talent in recent years, companies are showing a greater willingness to invest in the training and development of graduates, and younger professionals, that show a lot of potential. Companies are putting much more emphasis on the development and retention of their core teams. We are seeing a tightness in the labour market with greater competition between companies for this top tier of talent. Despite this pressure on the talent supply, growth in graduate output, the return of Irish citizens from overseas and the streamlined visa system has enabled the labour market to successfully accommodate this rise in demand.’