Total job vacancies in Ireland have dropped over the last year due to uncertainties over a no-deal Brexit, according to a new report.
According to the latest edition of the IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index, while vacancies remain strong in construction and hotel and catering, there have been reductions in accounting and finance, banking, financial services and insurance.
The report points to total job vacancies declining by 4% year-on-year and 2% quarter-on-quarter, despite a healthy, growing economy.
These reductions have been driven primarily by a group of knowledge-intensive sectors, says the report, particularly accounting and finance, and banking, financial services and insurance, which fell by 8% and 15% year-on-year, respectively.
"Financial services and banking have been hit by ongoing restructuring within the industry. We've seen a lot of restructuring in AIB, Bank of Ireland and more recently Deutsche Bank," Jane Lorigan of irishjobs.ie explained.
"A lot of that might be accounted for by a focus on moving to digital platforms and mobile banking, away from traditional banking jobs."
Ms Lorigan said an anticipated boost in financial services positions from UK based firms moving operations here hadn't materialised to the extent that might have been expected.
"We saw some banks moving offices but not the boost that was expected at all. Anecdotally, a number of jobs that did migrate to Dublin were filled from with the [bank's] network so there was no net gain for banking jobs here."
While other factors, including virtually full employment and sluggish European markets, are affecting hiring, recruitment has been made more difficult and uncertain by Brexit.
Employers who depend on exports, like the science, pharmaceuticals and food industry, whose job vacancies declined by 1% year-on-year, must factor in the disruption that may be caused by tariffs, border checks and other supply chain disruptions.
"Companies in manufacturing are putting off hiring decisions until they get more certainty about what's going to happen," Ms Lorigan said.
However, despite the obvious difficulties of Brexit, the Irish economy is in an overall strong position, underpinned by high consumer expenditure, low unemployment and sustained foreign direct investment.
The IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index shows that job vacancies in the construction, architecture and property, engineering and utilities sector increased by 7% year-on-year and 4% quarter-on-quarter, reflecting an unabated demand for new residential and commercial units.
Ireland remains a top overseas tourism destination.
Hotel and catering job vacancies rose by 6% year-on-year and 8% quarter-on-quarter, and the sector continues to advertise the largest share (25%) of total job vacancies by a significant margin.
"Tourism and construction are very strong sectors and have been consistently for the last year. There's still quite a bit of disposable income and inbound tourism. There's been a shortage of chefs in the Irish market for 5 years. There's no sign of that abating."
The construction sector is very vibrant with huge demand for staff, Ms Lorigan said.