Last year ‘was strongest for job creation since 2008’

December saw a 49% year-on-year rise in the number of professional jobs being made available, bringing to a close the strongest year of job creation since 2008.

The latest Irish Employment Monitor, from recruitment giant Morgan McKinley, shows the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors showed particular dynamism during 2014, with graduates in these areas in high demand by employers.

The survey also showed steady demand for financial services staff and a marked pick-up in SME hiring levels, with small domestic firms actively competing with multinationals for talent. Morgan McKinley now expects a more competitive and candidate-led jobs market, for those with specialist skills, to emerge in 2015.

“We anticipate renewed confidence and activity in hiring from existing and new employers in 2015,” said Karen O’Flaherty, chief operations officer with Morgan McKinley Ireland.

“SMEs were more active in 2014 and are now competing with multinationals for similar talent. We forecast that this will continue into 2015. It was also evident that employers who had hired contractors in 2014 are more likely to offer permanent roles in 2015 in order to secure talent. This is a strong indicator of business confidence returning to the market,” she added.

The survey also highlighted an uplift, last year, in the number of people returning to Ireland for work. While this was primarily due to family considerations, many of those returning were willing to take a pay cut in order to return.

A separate survey, from, shows that total online job vacancies jumped by 7% last year, with a 2% increase noted in the final quarter of the year.

“We are seeing a sustained increase in total jobs across management, executive, contract roles advertised across construction, manufacturing and many services-related industries. Alongside the rise in total jobs advertised, there is a boost in jobs market sentiment, with people expecting things to further improve,” according to its marketing director, Safann MacCarthy.

The study also found that 93% of jobseekers would consider retraining in order to get a new position, with only 7% saying they would not.

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