Wednesday 16 January 2019

Irish employment level jumps by 60,000

Official figures show that 2.19 million people were in employment in 2017.

The number of people employed in construction increased by 12,300 (PA)
The number of people employed in construction increased by 12,300 (PA)

By Cate McCurry, Press Association

The number of people in work rose by over 60,000 last year as Ireland’s labour market continues to grow.

Official figures show that 2.19 million people were in employment in 2017, according to the 2018 National Skills Bulletin.

Employment growth was particularly strong in construction, accommodation and food and the education sector.

Carried out by a team of labour market economists and researchers, the report shows that approximately 400,000 people started a new role last year.

By understanding the needs of the labour market we can identify new policies and actions necessary to ensure the best opportunities for our citizens Joe McHugh

Produced by Solas, the Further Education and Training Authority, the bulletin examines demand and supply within the Irish labour market at occupational level.

The findings show that the number of people employed in construction increased by 12,300 while the number working within the accommodation and food sector rose by 13,400.

The education sector also saw an increase of 11,400 people which included lecturers, secondary school teachers and education support teachers.

Industry demand for certain skills was high, with vacancies identified across a range of occupations including IT, science, healthcare and construction.

Joe McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills, launched the report on Wednesday.

He said: “The National Skills Bulletin provides an essential source of information on the labour market in Ireland and the skills needs of the economy.

  • Accommodation and food - up by 13,400
  • Construction - up by 12,300
  • Education - up by 11,400

“It is important that we reflect on the information in the National Skills Bulletin as we seek to build on the success of the Irish economy in recent years.

“By understanding the needs of the labour market we can identify new policies and actions necessary to ensure the best opportunities for our citizens.

“Despite the positive trends, the bulletin identifies shortages across a breadth of occupations. It is evident that there is no single action to take when addressing the shortages.”

Andrew Brownlee, executive director of Solas added: “By providing 300,000 further education and training places each year Solas is striving to meet the needs of learners, employers and communities.

“Solas and the Education and Training Boards have recently adopted a more strategic, multi-annual approach to planning and funding which will further enable the sector to respond to these findings.

“Taking into account the current labour market at both national and regional level, our strategic performance agreements with Education and Training Boards aim to deliver 30% more employment outcomes from programmes along with an increase of 10,000 qualifications in key skills areas annually.”

Press Association

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