Irish employers are planning to slow their hiring intentions to a crawl in the fourth quarter of the year with confidence on the floor due to inflationary and macroeconomic concerns.

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, employers of all sizes plan to slow hiring considerably, lowering the national hiring outlook to 28 per cent, a decline of 12 percentage points on last quarter, and a decrease of six points year-on-year.

The report is based on responses from  408 employers across the Republic. It asked whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

The technology, IT, telecom, and media sector is recording the sharpest fall in net employment outlook, at 17 per cent, down 25 percentage points on the last quarter and down 44 percentage points year-on-year. That decline driven mostly by a sharp rise in job cuts as tech companies restructure from their hiring boom of early 2022, according to the report.

Early post-pandemic recovery, previous high volume hiring campaigns, slowing tech sector growth, and rising interest rates have all knocked confidence in the sector going into the fourth quarter.

The tech sector was Ireland’s highest performing sector, and remained among the highest performing throughout 2022, but is now recording the second lowest employment outlook of any sector.

“Businesses that drove hiring confidence in the tech and IT sector over the last year are now having to reduce workers rather than take on new staff for growth” said John Galvin, managing director of the ManpowerGroup.

“Lay offs in the tech & IT sector have become much more prominent in the last quarter, a shift driven by large tech companies who may have over-hired coming out of the pandemic as their markets reopened.

“They now find themselves with a surplus of employees, which is now forcing them to divest recent hires and retract some job offers. Despite this, hiring overall remains in double digits, driven largely by small and medium sized firms outside the big-tech space.”

Tech slowdown
Employers in Dublin report a net positive hiring outlook of 23 per cent. That’s down 25 percentage points on last quarter’s record high, and a decline of 17 percentage points year-on-year. This is the sharpest fall in outlook of any region.

Outside the capital, Munster (+28 per cent) Connacht (+35 per cent), and Leinster (+39 per cent) all report robust outlooks. Ulster is less promising at +8 per cent.

“As our economic situation changes, the impacts in the marketplace are felt most strongly in Dublin,” said Mr Galvin.

“In previous quarters, the strong hiring optimism recorded by the IT and tech sector was a big part of keeping Dublin’s employment outlook buoyant.

“Now our data shows the number of employers in the capital’s tech sector looking to reduce staff has tripled since the last quarter, which is a substantial part of why we’re tracking a decline in the city’s hiring intentions.”

Despite the weakening trends for Dublin, the report does highlight continued strength in other locations.

“The tech slowdown in Dublin aside, we are encouraged by the continued strength of the hiring market in other regions, particularly Connacht where we continue to see strong hiring optimism across a range of in-demand roles,” said Mr Galvin.

The banking and finance sector remains Dublin’s strongest industry and a leading sector across Ireland, with an employment outlook of +33 per cent. While is down 16 percentage points on last quarter’s record high, it is still up 5 percentage points year-on-year.