Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, welcomed today's exceptionally strong jobs numbers published by the CSO as a sign of the strength and substance behind our business model and that the economy was weathering Brexit uncertainty very well. Worries that weaker than expected income tax receipts signalled a slowdown in employment growth will be assuaged by this morning’s figures.
Notably, the annual growth in employment was the largest the economy has experienced since 2007. All signals point to quality jobs being created with an 84,200 increase in full-time employment, falling underemployment and significant jobs growth in high-skill sectors such as ICT (8.8%) and in the construction sector (8.5%). The stellar jobs performance again underlines the substance of Ireland's economic model and the pace of job creation here remains well ahead of that across the EU.
Ibec Senior Economist Gerard Brady welcomed the figures stating: "The labour market is now moving toward full employment at a rapid pace. While the CSO figures released today are to be welcomed as a sure sign of the business strength and substance behind our economic growth, we must not lose focus. Ireland's labour force participation and total employment levels still remain low compared to European peers.
"We must have increased focus on labour market activation and removing barriers to work in areas such as childcare. Additionally, we must stand ready to address the skills gaps, emerging in key sectors. This will be key to maintaining our competitiveness as Brexit approaches. In order to achieve a renewed focus on re-skilling, it is imperative the Government commits to use the National Training Fund to support upskilling and labour market needs effectively. The employment surge also reinforces the need for greater ambition in infrastructure investment to meet the needs of the rapidly growing workforce."