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Irish Hiring Outlook Remains Stead in Q2 2020

Published on: 10 Mar 2020

DUBLIN, 10 MARCH 2020 – Irish employers expect the hiring pace to remain positive in Q2 2020 with hiring intentions improving two percentage points compared to last quarter, according to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.* Employers across all sectors surveyed report positive hiring intentions, with all but two industries growing compared to the first quarter of the year – illustrating increasing optimism in the market. 

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from over 620 employers in Ireland. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter. It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind.  

  • Employers report growing national Outlook as hiring optimism increases.
  • The Restaurant & Hotels and Pharmaceutical sectors report strongest Q2 hiring plans .
  • Dublin remains a stronghold for businesses with double digit increase in hiring sentiment .

MEOS Ireland 2020

The survey for the second quarter of 2020 found employers in the Restaurants & Hotels and Pharmaceutical sectors are the most optimistic, both reporting an Outlook of +17% for the coming quarter. Conversely, organisations within the Other Production sector (which includes the Mining & Quarrying; Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing; and Electricity, Gas & Water sub-sectors) are predicting the lowest hiring sentiment of all industries, with an Outlook of +2%, falling seven percentage points year-on-year to the lowest since 2014. 

John Galvin, Sales & Operations Director ManpowerGroup Ireland commented: "We're still in a time of unprecedented opportunity for Irish workers as the unemployment rate continues to fall and the economy expands. While the global economic landscape remains uncertain, Irish employers still intend to hire across all industries. Businesses continue to focus on growth and we’ve seen more international organisations looking to expand into Ireland as they seek to diversify their workforce across Europe.”

He continues, “The Pharmaceutical sector has gone from strength to strength, growing two percentage points both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. This is an effect of Ireland’s highly-skilled workforce and strong educational institutions which have been vital in fostering the success that the Pharmaceutical sector has seen. In what is undoubtedly a highly regulated and complex industry, expanding the current talent pool has been essential in creating sustainable employment growth and establishing an industry that is now renowned for its expertise.” 

The Restaurants & Hotels sector is also trending positively with an Outlook of +17% a 6 percentage point increase since the same period last year. Galvin continues: “Hospitality staff are increasingly in demand as Ireland’s appeal as a tourist destination grows internationally. The growth in our tourism industry has been well documented in recent years, and this is certainly driving demand from employers to maximise the potential of a growing visitor-experience base.” 

Galvin continues: “State aid for large multinationals in and around Dublin have been a much-publicised issue and our data indicates that many are planning to increase staff numbers in the upcoming quarter. However, hiring caution has been evident within many

smaller organisations as well as those across the border in Northern Ireland, with uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the impact of a potential hard-border high on the list of concerns.” 

Irish Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors, Regions, and Organisation Size: 

·       Nationwide, employers in all industry sectors report positive hiring intentions in Q2 2020. The strongest Outlooks are reported: Pharmaceuticals (+17%), Restaurants & Hotels (+17%), Other Services (Public & Social, Transport, Storage & Communication) (+14%), Construction (+12%).  The lowest Outlooks are in Financial & Business Services (+10%), Manufacturing (+8%), Other Production (Mining & Quarrying; Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing; and Electricity, Gas & Water) (+2%). 

·       From a regional perspective, the results show that employers in Munster and Dublin are the most optimistic for the period April to June reporting Outlooks of +13% and +11% respectively. However, uncertainty remains for businesses in the Ulster region, with the lowest Outlook of the survey at +6%.  

·       Larger (250+ employees) and medium (50-250 employees) sized organisations are the most optimistic groups in the survey reporting Outlooks of +34% and +17% respectfully. The picture contrasts significantly for micro-and-small sized firms (1-9 and 10-49 employees) predicting muted hiring for the coming the second quarter at +2% and +7%.  

For further information, please contact: 

Savannah Dixon

M: +44 (0) 7483397233  

Oisin Prendergast 

M: +44 (0) 7483 401289 



*The survey was conducted between January 6 and January 28 before the global escalation of Covid-19

A ‘Net Employment Outlook’ is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff. A positive result indicates that more employers plan to increase rather than decrease staffing levels; a negative result reflects the opposite. [% increase - % decrease] 

For international comparisons and visual library with graphs, visit 

Commentary is based on seasonally adjusted data where available. Full survey results for each of the 43 countries and territories included in this quarter’s survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found in the ManpowerGroup Press Room at In addition, all tables and graphs from the full report are available to be downloaded for use in publication or broadcast from the ManpowerGroup Web site at: 

Note that in Quarter 2 2008, the Survey adopted the TRAMO-SEATS model for seasonal adjustment of data. As a result, you may notice some seasonally adjusted data points change slightly from previous reports. This model is recommended by the Eurostat department of the European Union and the European Central Bank, and is widely used internationally. 

About the Survey 

The world leader in innovative workforce solutions, ManpowerGroup releases the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the longest running, most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, polling over 58,000 employers across 43 countries and territories. The survey serves as a bellwether of labour market trends and activities and is regularly used to inform the Bank of England’s Inflation Reports, as well as a regular data source for the European Commission, informing its EU Employment Situation and Social Outlook report the Monthly Monitor. ManpowerGroup’s independent survey data is also sourced by financial analysts and economists around the world to help determine where labour markets are headed.  

About ManpowerGroup 

ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organisations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organisations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower®, Experis®, Right Management® and ManpowerGroup® Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across 80 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. In 2019, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the tenth year and one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies for the seventeenth year, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup is powering the future of work: ManpowerGroup [square]