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Collins McNicholas has seen a 9% growth in registered job vacancies in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2016. The number of candidates registering with Collins McNicholas has increased by 1% in the same period. The unemployment rate for February 2017 was 6.6%, down from 6.7% in January 2017 and down from 8.4% in February 2016. As the unemployment rate declines, we are seeing a tightening in the labour market and increased demand for certain types of skills. The biopharma, MedTech and software sectors continue to grow and there is increased demand for engineering, science, data analytics and software development skills within these sectors. It is encouraging to see the growth of the Coder Dojo movement and the increased applications in the STEM subjects at third level, positioning Ireland to take advantage of the expected growth in these sectors globally where the competitive advantage is centered on access to talent.

The short to medium-term outlook for the Irish economy is good. The ESRI forecasts GDP growth of 3.8% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018, with a corresponding fall in the unemployment rate to 6.4% by the end of 2017 and 5.6% by the end of 2018. Although Brexit will likely have some negative impact on trade, the economic outlook for Ireland’s principal trading partners looks positive in the short to medium term. Domestic factors are playing a more important role in economic growth with a resurgent construction sector expected to be a significant driver of this growth as the housing shortage is addressed.

Ireland continues to attract international investment and this year has already seen several major job announcements with Microsoft (600 jobs), Indeed (500), IQ Pharmatek (200), EY (100), Fenergo (200) Element Six (100), and Accenture (300), all opening job vacancies in the past 3 months. Commenting on the jobs market Niall Murray, Managing Director of Collins McNicholas, said: ‘Quarter one of 2017 has continued where 2016 left off, with strong job growth and a steady rate of candidate applications. Increasingly, professionals are looking at company culture and development opportunities rather than focusing strictly on salary and benefits packages when assessing job opportunities. This trend is particularly prevalent among millennials.’

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Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services