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ManpowerGroup Ireland Q1 2021 Employment Outlook Report Has Been Released!

Written by: Paul Howard
Published on: 7 Dec 2020

Q1 Employment Outlook Banner


Hiring To Bounce Back Across Ireland In 2021


  • Strong hiring intentions across Ireland as employers report +7% hiring Outlook
  • Manufacturing hiring surges back to life with +5% Outlook for the first quarter
  • Irish market registers the fourth strongest hiring intent across EMEA region.


Irish employers report positive hiring plans for the first time in nine months according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. Employers rally ahead as the economy picks up for the beginning of 2021 with a Net Employment Outlook of +7%, improving nine percentage-points when compared to Q4 2020, and the first positive Outlook since the pandemic arrived in Ireland. Notably, Irish Manufacturers signal a return to hiring with an Outlook of +5% in Q1, a considerable 17 percentage-point increase quarter-on-quarter.

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 410 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.


NEO Trends Graphic Q1 2021


John Galvin, Managing Director, Manpower Ireland, said: “The data shows encouraging signs of an economic rebound in Ireland, improving significantly on last quarter’s survey results. The Irish Outlook being one of the strongest in Europe illustrates the optimism employers are feeling going into the new year and the easing of Level 5 restrictions. Ongoing changes to restrictions and the increase of announcements, such as a vaccine, will stimulate further positivity amongst the business community.”

According to John "The bounce-back we’re seeing from the Manufacturing sector is particularly encouraging. Throughout the pandemic many businesses have onboarded new staff to help produce ventilators and other vital equipment to support efforts against the virus, a pattern we are still seeing appear across the country. Add to this a strong uptick in opportunities across the food production industry, where businesses are expanding operations to support further demand, and it’s clear the sector is poised for a strong start to 2021.”

John adds: “Ireland’s Construction industry continues to build momentum into 2021 following a challenging year. It’s perhaps surprising that employers are reporting an Outlook of +7% for Q1 given the sector usually slows over the winter season, yet we’re seeing continued demand for home improvements as we enter into 2021. The lack of available housing in Ireland means that demand for engineers is still high on the wish-lists of many organisations, with high-quality engineers proving particularly hard to access. Regardless of the global pandemic, talent shortages still remain in crucial sectors across Ireland; the challenge for employers is how to bridge those displaced by COVID-19 into in-demand roles through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.”

Irish Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors and Organisation Size


  • Nationwide, employers in seven out of eight industry sectors report positive hiring intentions in Q1 2021.


  • Positive outlooks are being reported in: Wholesale & Retail Trade (+14%), Restaurants & Hotels (+9%), Construction (+7%), Manufacturing (+5%), Other Services (Public & Social, Transport, Storage & Communication) (+5%), Other Production (Mining & Quarrying; Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing; and Electricity, Gas & Water) (2%), Pharmaceuticals (+2%), and Finance & Business Services (-1%).


  • Larger-sized organisations (250+ employees) are reporting the most hiring confidence for Q1 with an Outlook of +13%, followed by medium-sized firms (50-249 employees) with an Outlook of +11%. Micro-sized firms (1-9 employees) are reporting an Outlook of +7%, whereas small-sized firms are reporting the lowest confidence with an Outlook of +2%.


MEOS Q1 Infographic



For further details regarding the ManpowerGroup Ireland Q1 2021 Employment Outlook Survey Results please contact Paul Howard at or call 01 6455232