Saturday 16 December 2017

Employment predicted to fall in last quarter

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

EMPLOYMENT will fall during the last three months of this year, even as most firms are apparently hiring more staff.

A new report from recruitment firm Manpower Services claims the labour market will drop by as much as 4pc between now and the end of the year on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The drop comes as numerous reports highlight improving confidence across most industries, with several sectors taking on more staff.

Even with the drop, however, the size of the labour force will be 3pc higher than the same time in 2012, Manpower said.

That is something Manpower claimed can be taken as a sign for optimism in the Irish economy.

Based on quarterly figures, seven out of 11 industries surveyed are planning to hire more staff in the last three months of the year than previously.

The report highlights the contrasting fortunes of industries that were hit badly during the downturn but are now recovering, and sectors that have performed well during the bust but are now rowing back on their business ambitions.

Electricity, gas and water sector employees report the strongest outlook, with the workforces in those sectors expected to increase by as much as 6pc. By contrast, agriculture, forestry and fishing will see employment plunge 18pc – the worst in a decade.

Connacht and Leinster are the most pessimistic regions for hiring, with employers expecting to cut staff levels by 8pc between now and the end of the year.

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