Welcome to the Moving2Ireland Jobs Market Report for January, 2020.
A new year is usually a good time for reflection, a new decade even more so. It’s an opportunity to look back on the year that was and forward to a new decade. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the team at Moving2Ireland HQ has spent much of the past couple of weeks in a reflective mood as we face into 2020 – especially when it comes to the Irish jobs market.
The contrast between January 2010 and today couldn’t be more stark. Back then, Ireland was facing into one of the worst economic crises that the country had ever seen. The country’s unemployment rate was in excess of 13 percent, with many of the job losses coming in the construction and engineering sectors. Those lucky enough to keep their jobs saw their income stagnate or even go down. Over 65,000 people would also emigrate from Ireland in 2010 in search of improved career opportunities and a better standard of living. Compare that to the most recent unemployment numbers released this week and it’s clear to see that progress has been made.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2019 was 4.8 percent, remaining unchanged from November 2019 and down from 5.5 percent in December 2018. The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 119,000 in December 2019, compared to 117,900 in November 2019. When compared to December 2018, there was an annual decrease of 12,900 in the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed.
One of the most striking takeaways from this month’s unemployment figures was in relation to the number of women now employed in the Irish labour market. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females was 4.2 percent in December 2019, remaining unchanged from 4.2 percent in November 2019, but down from 5.5 percent in December 2018 – a significant reduction. This meant that in real numbers, there were 47,700 women unemployed in December compared to 47,500 in November 2019.
By contrast, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was 5,4 percent in December, up from 5.3 percent in November 2019, and down from 5.5 percent in December 2018. The total number of males unemployed in December 2019 was 71,300 compared to 70,500 in November 2019.
Finally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for persons aged 15-24 years (youth unemployment rate) was 12.6 percent in December 2019 up from 12.5 percent in November 2019.
Ireland’s unemployment rate: December 2019
Foreign direct investment victory for government ahead of 2020 election
If the current Fine Gael government is to return to power after Ireland’s next general election, scheduled for Spring 2020, then the strength of the country’s economy will be one of the main reasons for this. There is little doubt that Fine Gael will be pushing the economy to the forefront in the upcoming campaign and this argument received an additional boost today with news that IDA Ireland, the government agency responsible for recruiting foreign direct investment to the country, had enjoyed unprecedented positive results in 2019.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and IDA Ireland, the Irish Government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland, announced that employment levels in its client companies have now reached 245,096 – the highest ever number employed in the multinational sector, exceeding targets set by Government contained in IDA Ireland’s Strategy – Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019.
Some of the key takeaways from today’s announcement include:
- There were 1,209 investments won over the course of IDA Ireland’s ‘Winning – Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019’ Strategy, creating 112,373 jobs, making it IDA’s most successful period of investment to date.
- Regional investments increased by 50 percent over the past five years.
- In 2019, 21,844 new jobs were created in 250 projects in FDI companies. Half of investments were first time investors.
- Net employment gains in FDI-related positions increased by 13,867 in 2019.
These figures are positive and indicate the important role that international companies will continue to play in Ireland in 2020.