Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says his government wants to create 50,000 extra jobs next year.
“Jobs will be gained, jobs will be lost, there’s always a certain amount of churn in the labour market, but we want to be in a position to create 50,000 new jobs next year,” Mr Varadkar said.
“That will deliver a new record high in terms of employment in Ireland.
“We know from the past year that the best way to reduce poverty, to create prosperity, to create opportunity, is to ensure that more people are at work and that people at work have well-paid, secure jobs with pension rights.
“We can never become complacent about our economy or complacent about job creation and we’re not going to allow that to happen. We’re going to continue to focus on jobs in the economy just as much as we did when the country was in recession.”
The number of people entering employment in 2018 increased by 63,000, bringing the total employed in Ireland up to 2.26 million.
In the last five years there has been a significant fall in the unemployment rate in skilled trades, from 13% in 2013 to 2.6% in 2018, according to SOLAS, the state’s Further Education and Training Authority.