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.
“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.
“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.
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.