Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, welcomed today's strong jobs numbers published by the CSO. In Q3 2018, employment increased by 3% compared to the same period in 2017 with 66,700 more people at work.
Ibec Economist Alison Wrynn welcomed the figures stating: "The positive numbers released today show that employment continues to grow at a steady pace. However, the tight labour market is now being experienced by employers, with employee turnover back at 2007 levels. For the past few years, skills shortages within certain sectors were the main challenges facing the Irish labour market. However, with unemployment now close to pre-crisis levels, these skills shortages will soon turn into labour shortages. This will cause employment growth to slow as firms will find it harder to fill vacancies.
“There are two ways to satisfy this labour demand. The first, is by increasing participation rates, which are still lower than the UK. If Irish participation rates converged to these levels it would bring an extra 143,000 people into the labour market. Achieving this would be difficult and would require policy changes such as more affordable childcare. The second way is through inward migration. However, attracting these workers will be more difficult than it was during the boom due to the current challenges in the housing market. Also, in recent months many companies, have experienced significant delays obtaining employment permits for staff. It is therefore imperative that this is addressed, along with increasing the supply of housing.”