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Indeed Ireland Job Search Survey August 2021: Still Little Urgency

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Few people are in a rush to find work, August survey shows.

Key points:

  • Urgent job search remains low among people in Ireland, the second edition of Indeed’s monthly survey shows. 
  • But the share of PUP recipients searching urgently has risen amid the wind-down of the scheme.
  • People are still keen to wait for more job opportunities, suggesting that mismatch between people and jobs may be an issue. 

Labour demand in Ireland has continued to strengthen in recent weeks. With further reopening of the economy to come and employers in a range of sectors already encountering hiring bottlenecks, the supply of workers is struggling to keep pace. 

To help understand Ireland’s labour market dynamics, the Indeed Hiring Lab surveyed 1,500 people in mid-August, ages 18-64. The sample took in individuals in and out of the labour force, including employed workers, those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the jobless. The goal is to better understand job search activity and get a sharper sense of how behaviour is changing during the economic recovery. 

August’s survey findings paint a broadly similar picture to July, with most people still not in a rush to find a new job. That suggests employers struggling to hire may continue to experience challenges in the near term. 

Still few people are urgently searching…

There are still few people urgently looking for work — just 8% of respondents said they were doing so in August (from 7% in July). Another 17% were actively looking but without urgency and 26% were passively searching. Almost half (49%) were not open to searching. 

Bar chart titled “Still few people actively searching.” With a vertical axis ranging from 0% to 60%, Indeed compared the percentage of the population ages 18 to 64 either “actively looking, urgently,” “actively looking, not urgently,” “passively searching,” or “not open to searching” for work with different coloured bars representing July and August 2021. As of August 21, 2021, 49% of respondents were not open to searching for work.

…though urgency has increased among PUP recipients

There was however an uptick in job search urgency among those in receipt of PUP. Around 35% of PUP recipients reported urgently searching in August, up from 13% in July. That largely came at the expense of passive search, which fell from 27% to 7%. That increase in urgency comes amid the winding down of the PUP scheme over the coming months. 

Bar chart titled “PUP recipients searching more urgently.” With a vertical axis ranging from 0% to 50%, Indeed compared the percentage of respondents receiving Pandemic Employment Payment (PUP) either “actively looking, urgently,” “actively looking, not urgently,” “passively searching,” or “not open to searching” for work with different coloured bars representing July and August 2021. 35% of PUP recipients reported urgently searching in August 2021, up from 13% in July 2021.

Care responsibilities holding back urgent search among non-PUP jobless

Among those jobless but not on PUP and not urgently looking for work, 30% cited care responsibilities. A further 18% said they could get by on their spouse or partner’s income, while 16% had concerns about in-person work due to COVID-19. 

Bar chart titled “Many jobless have care responsibilities.” With a horizontal axis ranging from 0% to 35%, Indeed compared the major reason given by respondents for “not urgent” job search among non-Pandemic Employment Payment (PUP) jobless with different coloured bars representing July and August 2021. As of August 21, 2021, 30% of jobless respondents not receiving PUP cited care responsibilities as major reason for not urgently looking for work.

Urgency greatest among people aged 25-44

There were differences in search behaviour by age group. Of all those who were open to searching for a job, the 25-34 and 35-44 categories reported the highest shares of urgent search. In many cases, this was because they said their salary or wage was insufficient. The 18-24 age group had the lowest share of urgent search, albeit also the highest share who were actively looking but without urgency. The older age groups (45-54 and 55-64) had a majority of people who were only passively searching. 

Bar chart titled “Job search behaviour by age group.” With a vertical axis ranging from 0% to 100%, Indeed compared the percentage of of the survey population searching for work in August 2021 among 18 to 24 year-olds, 25 to 34 year olds, 35 to 44-year-olds, 45 to 54-year-olds, and 55 to 64-year-olds with different sections of each age group bar representing “passively looking,” “actively looking, not urgently,” and “actively looking, urgently.” As of August 21, 2021, 25 to 34 and 35 to 44-year-old age groups held the highest share of urgent job search.

People still want to wait for more job opportunities

When asked when they would like to start a new job, the most popular answer remained when there are more job opportunities (27% in August). Even though job postings on Indeed Ireland are well above pre-pandemic levels, people may feel the available roles aren’t necessarily a good fit for their experience, interests or location and may be better off waiting for alternatives. 

Around 17% wanted to wait until taking holiday or time off, while a further 14% wanted to wait for the new school year to start. Around 11% wanted to wait until more of their potential co-workers had been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Bar chart titled “People still want to wait for more opportunities.” With a horizontal axis ranging from 0% to 35%, Indeed compared when people would like to start a new job among all respondents with different coloured bars representing July and August 2021. As of August 21, 2021, 27% of respondents reported that they would like to start a new job when there are more job opportunities.

Conclusion: still no hurry to find work

There remains little sign of people in Ireland being in a rush to find a new job, aside from PUP recipients searching more urgently as the scheme is wound down. The high proportion of people wanting to wait until there are more job opportunities suggests that mismatch between workers and jobs may be one issue. 

There are some reasons for employers to be hopeful that labour supply will begin to improve soon — many people indicated they wanted to take some time off, wait for the new school year or for vaccination rates to climb before they would like to start a new job. But whether that will be enough to keep up with surging demand for staff is another matter and recruitment looks set to remain challenging for the foreseeable future. 

Methodology

This blog post is based on an Indeed online survey conducted 9-21 August of 1,500 adults in Ireland ages 18-64. Weights were applied to each survey to match respondent distributions across age, gender, education and ethnicity based on data from the Central Statistics Office. 

Statistical agencies define unemployed workers as those who are jobless and actively searching for paid work, either urgently or not urgently. Respondents who are jobless but only passively looking for work or not open to work are not included in the unemployed category, but are considered out of the labour force.