HIRING intentions among Irish employers are the third weakest worldwide — with the construction, hotel and restaurant sectors being hardest hit.
The latest Manpower employment outlook survey — an indication of hiring intentions — found Ireland’s outlook is 3% for the next three months — equal to Italy and slightly ahead of the 0% in Spain — the world’s weakest.
The strongest outlooks were reported in India (47%) and Peru (40%).
The survey, which measured 686 Irish employers’ intentions to increase or decrease their workforces over the next three months, found employer confidence in the construction, mining and quarrying sectors weakened by 33 and 27 percentage points respectively since last year.
The restaurant and hotel sector has also undergone a similarly steep decline, with employers reporting a 22 percentage point decrease.
Managing director with Manpower Ireland, Jason Kennedy, said the hiring climate in Ireland is now more conservative than at any point since 2004.
“While there will undoubtedly be job losses in construction and related industries, having enjoyed many years of significant growth in this sector, it is natural that the labour market would reach a plateau.
“While growth has slowed, it is still positive, and it is important not to lose sight of that.
“Ireland is now a more mature economy that cannot compete on the same basis as before and the emphasis must now be on sustainable development and continued flexibility of our workforce.”
Employers in Ulster and Connaught reported negative hiring outlooks of -8% and -2% respectively, which means more employers are anticipating reducing staff numbers than those planning on recruiting staff.
Employers in Munster and Leinster however reported positive hiring outlooks of 7% and 4% respectively.
The most optimistic employment outlook figures are reported by employers in the transport, storage and communications sector (15%) and the public and social sector (13%).
Globally, employers in most of the world’s major labour markets are less optimistic about hiring in the third quarter of 2008.
The most optimistic third quarter employment outlooks are reported by India (47%), Peru (40%), Singapore (37%), Poland (29%), Costa Rica (27%), Hong Kong (27%), Argentina (25%) and Australia (20%).
Employers in Poland (29%), Romania (26%), Greece (19%), South Africa (17%) and Norway (16%) are showing optimistic hiring outlooks for the next quarter.
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