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Irish Job Postings Through April 23: Gradual Recovery

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Reopening sectors see growth but overall postings remain 12% below their pre-pandemic level.

We regularly update this report to track the effects of the pandemic on the labour market.

Recovery in job postings – a real-time measure of labour market activity – is gradually continuing as Covid-related restrictions start to be eased. On 23 April 2021 job postings on Indeed Ireland were 12% below their level on 1 February 2020, our pre-pandemic baseline, after adjusting for seasonal variations. That is an improvement of 4 percentage points (ppts) since our last blog post a month ago.

Ireland trails many major economies

Job postings in Italy (up 2% on the pre-pandemic baseline), Germany (up 2%) and France (down 7%) have recovered to a greater extent than in Ireland. Spain continues to lag (down 29%). Posting trends have been fairly flat in these continental European countries over the last month. 

This contrasts with recent rapid growth in the UK. Postings in the UK remain 10% below their pre-pandemic level but this metric has improved 15 percentage points since 26 March. Outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail reopened in many parts of the UK in recent weeks, prompting a recruitment drive in related occupations. This suggests postings in Ireland and the rest of Europe may surge similarly when major restrictions on business activity are lifted.

Some advanced economies outside Europe have seen even greater recovery. Job postings are up 43% in Australia, up 22% in the US and up 21% in Canada, relative to the 1 Feb 2020 baseline. Differences with Europe are likely driven by many factors, including the Covid-19 situation and labour market policy.

Reopening sectors lead job posting growth

Recent trends in Ireland appear linked to the gradual easing of restrictions throughout April and expectations for May. While job postings in sectors that rely on face-to-face contact – such as hospitality and tourism – remain depressed, recent growth is likely the result of a slight easing of travel restrictions and the reopening of some outdoor attractions. 

Loading & stocking, retail and construction job postings have also risen. Construction activity is resuming gradually and a phased return of non-essential retail is expected to start in May.

Many high-paid occupations continue to see job posting volumes below their pre-pandemic levels, including accounting (-27%), banking & finance (-19%), human resources (-17%) and marketing (-12%), without much improvement over the past month. 

Software development is one positive exception: postings in this category have already cleared the pre-pandemic baseline by 5%. This metric has improved by 5 percentage points in the past month.

Dublin lags the national trend

We looked at trends in the five largest counties by job posting volume and found that postings in Dublin are currently 23% below their pre-pandemic level. This is below the national average of -12%. Counties Cork and Limerick are close to the average (both -13%), while Galway and Kildare have recovered more (both -5%). 

Slow recovery in Dublin is in line with the trends we observe in other European capitals and is likely driven by the sectoral composition of jobs.

We will continue to provide regular updates on these trends as the situation evolves. We also host the data behind the postings trends plots on Github as downloadable CSV files.

Methodology

All figures in this blog post are the percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since February 1, 2020, using a seven-day trailing average. February 1, 2020, is our pre-pandemic baseline. We seasonally adjust each series based on historical patterns in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Each series, including the national trend, occupational sectors, and sub-national geographies, is seasonally adjusted separately. We adopted this new methodology in January 2021 and now use it to report all historical data. Historical numbers have been revised and may differ significantly from originally reported values.

Information is based on publicly available information on the Indeed Ireland website (and any other countries named in the post), is limited to Ireland (and those countries), is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.