Job vacancies suffer 23% decline last year

The e-recruitment platform saw the number of jobs offering remote working skyrocket by 1754%
Job vacancies suffer 23% decline last year

The tourism, travel, airline sector, hotels and catering, beauty, hair care, leisure and sport sectors suffered sharp declines.

Job postings for the final quarter of last year were 23% lower than the same period in 2019, new figures from IrishJobs.ie show.

However, despite being in the grip of a third wave of Covid-19 cases, the e-recruitment platform said Ireland’s employment market is now showing positive signs of recovery as job vacancies saw a 5% quarterly increase in the final quarter of 2020.

The most resilient sectors in 2020 include science, pharmaceutical and food (up 161% year-on-year), medical professionals and healthcare (up 123% year-on-year) and IT (up 49% year-on-year).

However, sectors most vulnerable to a tightening of public health restrictions continue to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 downturn with the tourism, travel, and airline sector (down 96% year-on-year), hotels and catering (down 82% year-on-year), and beauty, hair care, leisure and sport sectors (down 56% year-on-year) all suffering sharp declines.

Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie. Picture: Shane O'Neill

Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie. Picture: Shane O'Neill

“When we look at our latest IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index, what becomes apparent is the sheer resilience of Irish businesses who have adapted and adjusted quickly to the new Covid reality,” Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie, said.

“However, what we are experiencing is a two-speed job market, whereby the professional services and exporting multinational sectors mostly shrug off the effects of the pandemic but service-oriented sectors, like hotels, beauty, and travel, whose employees and customers are required to be physically present, bear the brunt of the economic downturn.” 

“As we continue to navigate through the pandemic in coming months, Government must factor this potentially unequal recovery into its economic planning,” Ms Moran said, adding that sufficient support measures for those directly impacted by prolonged closures and restrictions need to be devised.

Remote Working 

Unsurprisingly, the platform’s job index also shows a sharp demand for remote working opportunities last year with a 53% increase in people searching for work-from-home roles from January to December 2020.

The number of jobs that offer working-from-home as a location, has experienced an exponential increase of 1754% compared to this time last year, with a quarterly increase of 50% in the final quarter of 2020.

“Working from home has been a long-discussed practice in Ireland, and the Covid pandemic has certainly accelerated its uptake,” Ms Moran said.

“However, while the introduction of remote working may be an obvious choice for most employers in the current environment, it must also be a longer-term consideration when managing the return to the workplace.” 

“The demand for working-from-home opportunities is continually growing amongst career seekers and following the Government’s recent announcement on the proposed National Remote Working Strategy which gives employees the right to request remote working, this is something that all employers will be confronted with once workplaces are able to reopen,” she concluded.

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