As the economy moves ever closer to what is termed "full employment", jobs vacancies are becoming apparent. According to Irishjobs.ie, there was a near 10% growth in jobs vacancies in the year to the end of the first quarter. 

Orla Moran, General Manager of Irishjobs.ie, said the latest index points to it being a good time to start looking for a job or to move jobs. "We've analysed 26 sectors and 22 of them showed growth in vacancies in the last year. There was a 10% increase in jobs advertised year on year. Out of 10,000 live roles advertised, the top sectors at the moment are sales, hotel and catering, construction and engineering, IT, accounting and finance and science and pharma," she said. 


Orla Moran said there tended to be upward pressure on wages when it was a candidate driven market. One feature of this report was that there was more of a regional spread in the vacancies. "Donegal has a higher rate of vacancies. It has a very large employer in Primerica, which has a mix of opportunities in IT and engineering. Also Carlow, Galway and Limerick have experienced quarterly growth in vacancies," Ms Moran said. 

She also pointed out that Limerick has a high rate of vacancies, but high unemployment. "Dublin has a high rate of vacancies but low unemployment. It suggests a potential skills gap in Limerick. The local skill set does not match what employers are looking for," she explained.

Orla Moran said there was no apparent Brexit bounce in the jobs market as yet. "We have had lots of Brexit talk, but we haven't necessarily seen it translate into actual jobs numbers. The jobs index shows an 11% increase (in vacancies) in banking and finance in the quarter but a 15% decline in jobs advertised. So we aren't seeing the real jobs coming to fruition just yet," she concluded.

***
MORNING BRIEFS - UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury is to merge with Asda, which is currently owned by Walmart. The merger would create the UK's largest grocery chain, with a bigger market share than Tesco. The deal will have to be approved by the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

*** Stockbroker Davy has raised its outlook for economic growth for this year and next. It is forecasting GDP growth of 5.7% this year on the back of stronger export performance and higher consumer spending. New mortgage lending is likely to increase sharply as unemployment moves below 5%.

*** There was an 8% fall in the number of mortgages approved in the month of March compared to the same month last year according to figures from the Banking and Payments Federation. 3,374 mortgage approvals were granted in the month with a combined value of €763m. That was down 3% on the value of approvals in March of last year. Bad weather and a very strong first quarter last year are likely explanations for the decline.

*** US mobile operator T Mobile is to buy its rival Sprint in a $26 billion deal. They are, respectively, the third and fourth largest carriers in the US and together they will have over 130 million customers. The deal is expected to attract regulatory scrutiny over its potential impact on prices.