Limerick has been revealed as one of Ireland’s top performers in terms of new business growth.
The increasingly popular county posted a 43% increase in job vacancies in Q3 2017 on the same period last year, and 22% on Q2 2017, according to the IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index.
Limerick’s year-on-year growth compares particularly favourably with other urban centres including Dublin (9%), Galway (16%) and Cork (1%).
Limerick has suffered from some of the highest rates of unemployment in recent years, but is now home to a number of thriving industries, including pharma and engineering.
Major employers including Northern Trust and Regeneron have both expanded their operations and in further good news for the county, the Government recently announced the M20 motorway connecting Cork with Shannon via Limerick.
The IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index saw a minor increase in the overall number of job vacancies, up 3% on the previous quarter.
Hotels and catering, banking, finance and insurance, sales, IT, and manufacturing were among the top performing sectors.
"Broadly speaking, Ireland is in a strong position. While we are not seeing as steep an increase in job creation as witnessed in recent years, we remain on course for another year of steady growth, with a sustained albeit modest increase in the number of jobs vacancies," said Orla Moran, general manager of IrishJobs.ie.
"The success of high-skill, high-value STEM industries are a litmus test for an advanced economy, and in this space Ireland is performing well: our science and medical industries have increased their hiring by 15% and 6% respectively year-on-year.
"Unsurprisingly, Dublin still enjoys the lion’s share of job creation and investment, but urban centres like Cork, Galway, and in particular Limerick, are proving increasingly popular as alternative locations for business growth.
Ms Moran noted some negative trends highlighted in the report.
"Despite some counties bucking the trend, we’re seeing rural Ireland lag behind in job creation. In the Midlands and the South-East, unemployment rates are the highest in the country.
"Although we have yet to feel the real impact, the spectre of Brexit also looms large and the slow pace of UK-EU negotiations may be lulling businesses into a false sense of security. If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, Ireland will bear the brunt of the damage."