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ManpowerGroup Ireland Q4 2020 Employment Outlook Survey Results

Written by: Paul Howard
Published on: 8 Sep 2020

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Green Hiring Shoots Appearing Across the Irish Economy for Q4 2020


Irish employers’ hiring plans highlight an upward trend according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. Optimism is growing across the country following the reopening of the Irish economy.

Employers are reporting a Net Employment Outlook of -2% for Q4 2020, a 9% increase when compared with Q3, and the highest quarter-on-quarter increase recorded since Q1 2015. Most encouragingly, hiring intentions improve across 6 of the 8 sectors surveyed when compared with Q3 2020. 

The data indicates positivity towards the economic recovery in Ireland, improving on the Q3 Outlook, with the largest quarterly increase in hiring confidence in over five years. Irish firms are responding well to the opportunity to reopen their doors, and employers are demonstrating a newfound confidence in rebuilding the economy as restrictions lift. 

Hiring sentiment while strengthening in comparison with the prior quarter, is still 14 percentage points weaker when compared with this time one year ago. 


NEO Tends Graphic

(the % of employers anticipating an increase in headcount minus the % of employers expecting to decrease in headcount = Outlook Percentage)


Which Sectors are Forecast to Improve in Q4 2020?

The strongest of the eight industry sector Outlooks is reported by Pharmaceuticals sector employers, standing at +11%. Hiring prospects in the sector improve by 10 % from 3Q 2020. Hiring intentions are also stronger than the national Outlook in the Construction sector, where the Outlook of +6% improves by 11 percentage points quarter-over-quarter. However, hiring prospects in the sector are 17 percentage points weaker year-over-year. Manufacturing sector employers report the weakest sector forecast with a gloomy Outlook of -12%. Declining by 9 and 25 percentage points from 3Q 2020 and 4Q 2019, respectively, the Outlook is the weakest reported in more than 10 years. 


Dim hiring prospects are also reported for the Restaurants & Hotels sector with an Outlook of -11%, improving by 37 percentage points quarter-over-quarter, but declining by 30 percentage points year-over year. Employers expect to trim payrolls in five of eight Irish industry sectors during the October to December period, while staffing levels are forecast to grow in three. In a comparison with 3Q 2020, Outlooks improve in six sectors, but employers in seven sectors report weaker hiring plans when compared with the same period last year. 




What are the Regional Trends Showing in Ireland for Q4?

A decline in payrolls is anticipated in three of Ireland’s five regions during the coming quarter, while employers in one of the remaining regions expect to add to payrolls. While hiring sentiment strengthens in all five regions quarter-over-quarter, Outlooks weaken in all five regions when compared with this time one year ago.  


The strongest regional forecast of +3% is reported in Leinster, increasing by 4 percentage points when compared with the previous quarter, but dipping by 5 percentage points year-over-year. Munster employers report the weakest hiring plans with an Outlook of -7%, improving by 5 percentage points quarter-over-quarter, but declining by 19 percentage points year-over-year. 


Employers in the large organisations expect a steady hiring pace in 4Q 2020, reporting an Outlook of +13%. However, employers in the remaining three categories expect payrolls to decline or remain flat. The weakest Outlook of -9% is reported by Small employers. 




What is Happening Globally for Q4 2020?


Employers in 22 of the 43 countries and territories surveyed expect to increase payrolls during the next three months, while employers expect to trim payrolls in 16 (with flat hiring activity forecast in five). The strongest hiring intentions are reported in Taiwan, the U.S., Turkey, Japan and Greece. The weakest hiring prospects are reported in Panama, Costa Rica, South Africa, Colombia and the UK. In a comparison with the prior quarter, employers in 37 of the 43 countries and territories report stronger hiring plans, while Outlooks weaken in five countries and are unchanged in one. 


In the Americas region, workforce gains are anticipated in four of the 10 countries, while employers expect to reduce payrolls in six. U.S. employers report the strongest Americas region Outlook for the twelfth consecutive quarter, while employers in Panama and Costa Rica anticipate the weakest labour markets. 


Employers in five Asia Pacific countries and territories expect to add to payrolls during the upcoming quarter, while staffing levels are expected to decline in two. The strongest regional Outlook is reported in Taiwan, while the weakest and only negative hiring climates are expected in Singapore and Hong Kong. 


In  Europe employers expect to grow payrolls during 4Q 2020.  EMEA’s strongest labour markets are forecast for Turkey, Greece and Poland, while the weakest are expected in South Africa, the UK and Croatia. 


Global Q4 Infographic




Ready to Hire Image


About ManpowerGroup Ireland 

From analysis of market trends, to industry insights and future predictions, to leadership, management and attraction strategies, ManpowerGroup Ireland produces in-depth research and thought leadership to keep employers and job-seekers alike ahead of the curve.

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