Ireland sees eight consecutive quarter of jobs growth
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today said that the latest figures from the CSO clearly show that the Irish labour market remains very solid. A switch from part-time to full-time employment growth had led to a slowdown in the overall employment growth in the first half of the year. There were 10,400 jobs added in the economy in Q3, the eight consecutive quarter of jobs growth in the economy. Importantly the bulk of these were in full-time positions, with employment in full-time equivalents up 16,500.
Commenting on the latest numbers, Ibec Head of Policy and Chief Economist Fergal O’Brien said: “Employment growth remains the best indicator of Ireland’s economic health. Today’s figures are consistent with our forecast that unemployment will fall below 11% by the end of 2014 and that overall employment will return to early 2009 levels by the end of 2015. However, this is still expected to be a full 185,000 below its mid-2007 peak. Although this will be partly driven by demographic factors it underlines the long road Ireland’s labour market must still travel to recovery.
“The composition of employment growth is the most promising feature of today’s release. Last year’s spectacular employment growth figures were driven by part-time hiring as firms tentatively re-entered the labour market. The slowdown in overall employment growth in the first half of 2014 reflected a switch from part-time to full-time jobs growth, today’s figures are a clear indicator of the domestic economy recovering as the strong employment growth is almost all full-time.
“There have been annual increases in ten out of fourteen sectors, construction was a particular stand-out adding 7,000 jobs annually. These rises in construction are reflective of increasing investment, albeit from a historically very low level. With construction employment down 161,500 or 60% on its peak, the recovery in employment in the sector is likely to be a significant factor in reducing damaging long-term unemployment.”