MORE than 1,000 jobs were lost every week in 2010, according to the Small Firms Association (SFA).
More than 60,000 redundancies were notified to the department of enterprise, with an average of 1,075 jobs lost in this country every week in 2010, said the SFA.
The services sector was the hardest hit, accounting for 38pc of all jobs lost during the year, as the sector reeled from falling consumer spending, while 20pc of the total job losses occurred in the manufacturing sector.
SFA director Avine McNally said that while the live register stabilised during the final months of last year, the outlook for 2011 remained bleak.
"Job creation will remain slow until greater growth occurs in the economy. While the Budget provided some certainty to the economy, it did not go far enough and provide the confidence that is desperately needed . . . Only when businesses feel more confidence will we start to see businesses invest, grow and create employment," she said.
"The impact of job losses has been concentrated in the lower skilled occupations and Ireland appears to be experiencing a classical labour market mismatch situation, with significant skill shortages in some areas such as IT and specialist's sales coupled with an oversupply in other occupations."
Ms McNally also called on the Government to take more action to deal with competitiveness.
"In the absence of reductions in (government controlled) costs, small businesses will continue to have to further reduce the costs that are within their control, and this will inevitably mean a further loss of jobs."
As the recovery to date has been concentrated in the exporting sectors, the labour-intensive domestic sectors are lagging behind, meaning job creation will remain muted.