Skip to main content

Q3 2021 Employment Outlook Report Released

Written by: Paul Howard
Published on: 11 Jun 2021

Top Indemand Roles


Irish Firms Rally on Hiring as Talent Shortages Tighten

  • Employer’s report hiring Outlook of +15% for Q3, most positive result in Europe
  • Yet over three-quarters of employers are struggling to find the talent their firms need
  • Construction and Hospitality sectors report strong hiring intentions for third quarter

Hiring Outlook




DUBLIN, 8 JUNE 2021 – Irish hiring plans are roaring back into life in the third quarter of 2021 according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. Employers report a Net Employment Outlook of +15% for Q3, the joint-highest recorded in Europe, with all sectors surveyed reporting positive hiring plans for the next three months. Yet despite growing confidence as the economy reopens, employers are also facing dire talent shortages when looking for new staff, with 78% struggling to fill roles due to a lack of available talent.

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 504 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.

Hiring Outlook Graph

John Galvin, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup Ireland, commented: “The headline stats highlight the optimism employers are feeling going into Q3; with the highest Outlook recorded in Ireland since 2007 and positive hiring plans reported in every sector. As the vaccination programme continues to gather pace, employers are finally confident they can plan for the future without further restrictions impacting their business plans.”

“At the same time, organisations in Ireland are facing some of the most challenging hiring conditions in years” says Galvin. “There’s a perception that, due to the economic fallout of the pandemic, employers will have access to a greater pool of talent than before. Yet what we’re seeing from clients is that many skillsets are increasingly difficult to find, with highly-skilled workers in Ireland content to remain in their current roles rather than look for new opportunities; many with increased loyalty to their employer who saw them through the pandemic.”

Sector Graph

Galvin adds: “The Construction industry is one area that is experiencing renewed optimism with an Outlook of +39% for Q3. This sector has been notably hard-hit throughout the pandemic with non-essential building projects forced to close, yet employers are galvanising around the opportunity to fully reopen sites, permissible as of May 4th, and are planning for the future once again. As a sector with well-documented skills shortages, we expect construction companies to move fast to snap up the talent they require for the next quarter.”

Elsewhere, the Restaurants and Hotels sector is reporting the most positive Outlook for Q3 since the pandemic hit Ireland with an Outlook of +21%. Galvin: “It’s particularly encouraging to see employers in the Hospitality sector report strong positive hiring intentions. This time last year, at the height of the pandemic, we reported the lowest Outlook for the sector in the history of the survey. Now, while the vaccination programme gathers momentum, we’re seeing employers increasingly confident of welcoming back tourists in Q3 and adding to their staff headcounts once again.” Galvin concludes: “We are seeing evidence of employers finding it difficult to source talent for these sectors due to sectorial talent migration, higher than normal unemployment supports and a fear of employment commitment to these sectors. Employers will have to work hard to overcome these challenges in the coming quarter”.

Organisational Size

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

Nationwide, employers in all eight industry sectors report positive hiring plans for Q3 2021: Construction (+39%), Pharmaceuticals (+30%), Restaurants and Hotels (+21%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+17%), Manufacturing (+16%), Other Services (Public & Social, Transport, Storage & Communication) (+15%), Finance and Business Services (+6%), Other Production (Mining & Quarrying; Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing; and Electricity, Gas & Water) (+6%).

Talent Shortages

From a regional perspective, the results show employers in the Connaught region are the most confident with an Outlook of +29% for Q3. Employers in Leinster report an Outlook of +19%, employers in Ulster report an Outlook of +14%, whereas Dublin and Munster are both at +12%. Elsewhere, larger-sized organisations (250+ employees) are the most confident with an Outlook of +29%. Medium-sized organisations (50-249 employees) report an Outlook of +24% for Q3, small-sized organisations (10-49 employees) report an Outlook of +15% and micro-sized organisations (1-10 employees) report an Outlook of 11%.

Soft Skills