31st January 2024

IrishJobs Jobs Index: Q4 2023 – data analysis

Jobseeker activity increases as hiring demand continues to ease back

In Summary:

• Job vacancies decreased by 28% year-on-year.
• Job vacancies experienced a 13% quarterly decrease.
• Three sectors posted year-on-year vacancy increases – Public Sector, Arts & Entertainment,
Animal Care.
• Four sectors posted quarterly vacancy increases – Construction, Public Sector, Arts &
Entertainment and Design.
• The sectors with the largest hiring demand are Catering, Health, Management, Customer
Service and Sales.
• Internationally-traded sectors – including Finance and Science – posted above-average
declines in year-on-year and quarterly vacancy rates.
• The IT sector experienced a year-on-year decline in jobs. Tech roles now make up 6% of all
available jobs, a proportion similar to 2019.
• Remote/working-from-home vacancies fell by 20% in the fourth quarter, substantially
faster than overall vacancies.
• Employers in Dublin (74%) and Limerick (15%) are responsible for the lion’s share of working
from-home vacancies. This suggests that homeworking in Ireland is strongly driven by the
pressures of commuting into large metropolitan centres


Sam Dooley, Country Director, Stepstone Ireland, responsible for IrishJobs, outlines his analysis of job market data from the latest  ‘IrishJobs Jobs Index’ .

The data reveals hiring demand moderating in the final three months of 2023, while at the same time, jobseeker activity heightened.

The data for the fourth quarter of 2023 indicates the job market is continuing to normalise following the hiring surge of recent years, with job vacancies easing back 28% compared to the same period last year and 13% compared to the previous three months.

According to the analysis, jobseeker activity, a measure of demand for new roles in the jobs market, heightened in Q4. Increasing by 6% compared to the previous year. This shift in behaviour is captured by examining the keyword search volumes on search engines of candidates actively seeking new roles.

Taken together, these trends may offer some respite to recruiters. Increased demand for new roles combined with moderated hiring levels can provide a window of opportunity for employers to better meet their talent needs. That being said, it’s worth noting that these pressures are unlikely to be completely alleviated against a backdrop in which unemployment is expected to remainunder 5%, and skills shortages persist in specific sectors.

Tech jobs
The last twelve months have seen a series of job loss announcements from the big tech players. However, even with the readjustment experienced across 2023, the IT sector continues to be one of the largest sources of professional vacancies in the jobs market,
accounting for 6% of all jobs advertised in the quarter and total across 2023.

Job vacancies in the sector in Q4 are on par with levels in 2019, indicating the sector has rebalanced following a period of
hypergrowth during the pandemic. Across 2023, the demand for tech professionals remained strong. Our analysis of job postings revealed that Lead Data Architects and Data Security Officers were among the most sought-after professionals in the sector.

This suggests an increasing need for data management skills as more organisations develop AI and big data capabilities.

Remote Working
With the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) expected to complete a new code of practice on the right to request remote working
within weeks, our data shows remote/working from-home vacancies falling for a second successive quarter, dropping by 20% in Q4.

This followed an earlier rebound in remote/working-from-home vacancies in Q2 this year. While the rate of the decrease in Q4 was significantly faster than the decline in overall vacancies, it is unclear whether the Q4 figures point to a long-term stabilisation, or
even reduction, of the level of homeworking in Ireland.

2024 Outlook
With a competitive environment for talent likely to continue this year, we expect more employers to take a skills-based approach
to hiring potential talent over the coming months. By looking beyond traditional measures, such as years of experience in screening candidates and focusing on the skills that are most relevant to the role, employers can secure the right talent to grow and evolve with their business.

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