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ManpowerGroup Ireland Employment Outlook Results Q2 2021

Written by: Paul Howard
Published on: 9 Mar 2021

Banner Image Q2 2021


Hiring Optimism Falls Despite Dublin Bright Spot


Main Findings

  • National Jobs Outlook falls 5 percentage points from last quarter
  • Dublin bounces back with strongest hiring intent since the start of the pandemic
  • Manufacturing sector remains positive after switching to socially distanced production
  • Large Scale Companies & Multinationals will be the key drivers of growth for Q2 2021




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Irish hiring confidence drops in the second quarter of 2021 according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. Employers report a Net Employment Outlook of 0 for Q2, a five percentage-point decrease compared to the previous quarter. Encouragingly, employers in Dublin anticipate strong hiring for the coming three months with the most optimistic Outlook (+7%) since the health crisis began in Ireland in Q2 2020. The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 445 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.


Infographic of the Main Findings for Q2 2021



Insights from ManpowerGroup Ireland MD John Galvin

“What we know of businesses in Ireland is that they are resilient,” said John Galvin, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup Ireland. “Despite the fall in Outlook quarter-on-quarter, employers are currently expecting no changes to headcounts for the coming quarter. But we must be honest, in the short-term the data reflects the challenging business environment and the uncertainty of continued lockdowns. However, what we’re hearing from our clients is optimism, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and with the vaccine roll out hiring will return in the medium-to-long-term.”

Galvin continues: “It’s particularly positive to see Dublin come roaring back to pre-pandemic hiring levels; as we saw in the years following the financial crisis, where hiring bounces back in the capital, the rest of Ireland will follow. This renewed confidence in hiring and spring just around the corner is cause to be optimistic, as we begin to see green shoots across the country as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Galvin adds: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen the reliance on services increase in Ireland, creating opportunities right across the public sector. As we enter Q2 we expect these levels to increase even further with employers on the hunt to increase headcounts. This is reflected in the data where employers in the Other Services (Public & Social, Transport, Storage & Communication) sector report the strongest hiring intent (+9%) of any sector measured for the next three months.”

“Ireland’s Manufacturing industry continues to show signs of job gains for the upcoming quarter where employers report an Outlook of +3%” says Galvin. “This was one of the sectors most adversely affected in 2020, with tight lockdown restrictions seeing production levels halt for numerous firms. However, we have seen the sector adapt to COVID-secure measures and begin rebuilding for the upcoming year, with many of Ireland’s producers already putting in place their expansion plans for 2021.”

Elsewhere, employers in the Restaurants and Hotels sector report the least optimism of any sector for the next three months with an Outlook of -18%. Galvin again: “The build-up to the summer period is often a busy one for hiring in the Hospitality sector, with employers keen to build headcounts ahead of the usual tourism boom. While continued travel restrictions and venue closures have made it difficult for employers to plan on hiring for the immediate future, a surge in tourism for a late-summer holiday in Ireland would quickly restore confidence in the sector.”


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Irish Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors and Organisation Size

  • Nationwide, employers in three out of eight industry sectors report positive hiring plans for Q2 2021. The Positive Outlooks are reported in: Other Services (Public & Social, Transport, Storage & Communication) (+9%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+8%) and Manufacturing (+3%). Two sectors report mute hiring plans: Construction (0%) and Pharmaceuticals (0%). The Negative Outlooks are reported in: Finance & Business Services (-3%), Other Production (Mining & Quarrying; Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing; and Electricity, Gas & Water) (-9%) and Restaurants & Hotels (-18%).
  • From a regional perspective, the results show that employers in Dublin are reporting positive hiring intent for Q2 with an Outlook of 7%. Elsewhere, employers in Leinster and Ulster report an Outlook of -2%, employers in Munster report an Outlook of -5% and employers in Connaught report an Outlook of -7%.
  • Larger-sized organisations (250+ employees) are reporting the most hiring confidence for Q2 with an Outlook of 22%. Micro-sized organisations (1-9 employees) report an Outlook of -1%, small-sized organisations (10-49 employees) report an Outlook of -3%, whereas medium-sized organisations (50-249 employees) report an Outlook of -6%.


Remote Working and Covid-19 Hiring Impact Findings

  • 64% of respondent companies stated they had experienced no change in overall employment levels since the onset of Covid-19. 12% stated they expect to see a full return to pre Covid-19 staffing levels within the next 6 months.
  • Regarding vaccination policy and what policy companies are most likely to pursue in relation to their staff, a majority of 51% stated they had no plans to introduce a fixed vaccination policy in relation to their staff stating it will be up individuals to decide what is most appropriate for them.
  • 79% of respondents stated that they had maintained the same number of full time employees in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In the area of remote working and its impact on company operations since the start of the pandemic, 48% stated their business operations had moved to a mixture of remote and workplace based practices.


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For further details regarding the ManpowerGroup Ireland Q2 2021 Employment Outlook Survey Results please contact Paul Howard at or call 01 6455232.

We are happy to answer any questions you have, email you the global brochure or invite you to our next webinar to discuss the latest employment survey results.

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