OVER 5,000 NEW jobs were created during the first three months of 2013, IBEC’s first jobs report for the year has shown.
While believing that the year to date has seen a stabilization in the jobs market, the organisation said that any additional increase in tax would undermine this.
The report by the Irish Business and Employers Confederation also found that unemployment decreased by 19,200 (or 6.1 per cent) in the year to Q4 of 2012. The vast majority of this drop (18,000), however, was due to a combination of those unemployed who were no longer actively seeking employment and those who had since emigrated.
(Graph – IBEC Jobs Report)
Other findings in the report, which can be read in full here, include the following:
- Despite those in long-term unemployment falling by 10 per cent over a 12-month period, this category still accounts for around 60 per cent of total unemployment.
- The private sector was a net contributor to job growth in 2012. While there was a 2.3 per cent drop in those working in the public sector over the past year, employment in the private sector rose by almost one per cent.
- In the year to Q4 2012, the number of jobs created varied significantly be sector. Jobs in IT rose by 7.1 per cent, jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing rose by 12.1 per cent, and jobs in technical and scientific activities increased by 6.2 per cent. On the other hand, employment fell on an annual basis in industry (down three per cent), construction (down by 4.3 per cent) and transport (down 3.9 per cent).
The IBEC report concluded that retraining and education needs to be given priority in order to avoid a skills mismatch for vacancies in the future, while forecasting that the services sector would provide the main source of sustained employment growth.
IBEC chief economist Fergal O’Brien said that while a drop in unemployment was “positive to see”, he said that it was worrying that this was “mainly due to a decrease in the labour force.”
From a policy perspective, it is essential that we give hope to young jobs seekers, in particular, and also ensure that we keep people as close as possible to the workplace through training and upskilling programmes.
Economic recovery will be dependent on our skills pool and we must do everything possible to retain those skills in Ireland and to help the unemployed to upskill.