Vacancies are up 57% from pre-pandemic levels, recruitment website says

Job postings on Indeed’s recruitment website are currently 57% above pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the current strength of the Irish labor market.

“Candidate supply” has not kept pace with rapidly increasing demand, especially in healthcare, retail, warehousing, online delivery and other sectors services, said Indeed chief economist Jack Kennedy.

Job openings in these sectors were on average three times higher than their pre-pandemic level, he said.

“Vacancies remain very high. Many organizations still have quite significant staff shortages to fill,” Mr Kenndy said, noting that the number of vacancies advertised on the group’s Irish portal had increased rapidly since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions at the start of the year.

However, he said the number of vacancies had “declined somewhat” in recent weeks, possibly reflecting the uncertain economic outlook linked to rising inflation and the war in Ukraine.

The overall labor shortage reflected the fact that many people in the domestic workforce had not returned to the workplace in the wake of Covid and “continue to sit on the sidelines workforce,” he said.

The main reasons for this, according to Indeed’s own research, include family responsibilities (for children or other family members); accumulated savings and/or fear of contracting Covid-19.

The Republic’s overall unemployment rate fell below 5% in April, matching the pre-pandemic level. Despite the acceleration of inflation and the uncertainties related to the war in Ukraine, the Central Bank predicted a further tightening of the labor market in the coming months.

He also warned that if wage demands became detached from underproductivity, higher levels of inflation could become entrenched in the economy.

Mr Kennedy said the labor market outlook was complicated by inflation. He said salary levels – in jobs advertised on the Indeed website – had risen by 1% while inflation hit 7%. The higher cost of living, he said, could encourage people currently on the margins to be more active in their job search.

“Similarly, if demand conditions soften, that could potentially trickle down to slowing labor demand,” he said.

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