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Lucky few earn 20pc wage rises

Salaries in some sectors of Irish business rose by 20pc last year because recruits in those areas were in short supply, but, overall, pay for new professionals stabilised.

This followed a drop of as much as 30pc in pay in 2009, according to figures in an annual salary guide just published by Hay recruiters.

By last year, however, salaries across seven niche sectors had stabilised, says the guide.

"It's great to not only see salary rates a lot steadier this year, but increases starting to emerge" said Richard Eardley, managing director of Hays in Ireland.

"This is generally being reflected in the level of hiring going on as well."

The IT sector was the most robust during the year, benefiting from foreign direct investment. Job-seekers with technology experience that could cut costs for employers, such as cloud computing and automation, were most in demand.

Accountancy candidates with language skills were attracting salaries that are 15pc higher than they were in 2009.