The jobs market is showing signs of stabilisation according to the first quarterly jobs index of 2022 by IrishJobs.ie, with the number of job vacancies levelling out compared with last year.
While the index reveals 44% year-on-year growth in the number of jobs available, it is down on the last quarter's growth rate of 86%.
While year-on-year numbers have slowed, jobs have increased by 3% quarter-on-quarter, and the overall volume of jobs available remains high, reflecting the continued normalisation of the economy.
The growth level for roles in the Tourism, Travel & Airlines sector is over 700%.
Meanwhile, there is a 130% year-on-year growth in the number of roles offering the option of remote work - another lasting impact of how the employment market has evolved over the course of the last two years.
Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie, said the index is an important quarterly barometer that consistently gauges what is happening in the jobs market.
"Over the past year, the Index has reflected the variable nature of the pandemic and its role as a key driver of hiring surges across the country towards the end of last year," she said.
"With the lifting of all public health restrictions earlier this year, the first Jobs Index of 2022 suggests some stabilisation in the market with the number of job vacancies levelling out compared to the high year-on-year growth we saw last quarter," she added.
"That said, we are still seeing growth in job vacancies with an increase of 44% compared to this time last year," she stated.
"This shows that the market for employment remains strong for job seekers around the country and employers need to remain competitive in order to retain and recruit talent."
Of the 30 sectors analysed in this quarter's Index, 22 posted year-on-year increases in job vacancy creation in the first quarter of 2022, while 15 sectors posted quarterly increases in job vacancy creation.
Jobs have rebounded significantly in sectors worst hit by Covid-19, with Tourism, Travel and Airlines and Hotel and Catering displaying significant increases of 763% and 396% respectively.
Other sectors showing strong year-on-year growth in Q1 2022 include the Public Sector (+119%), Secretarial & Admin (+101%), HR & Recruitment (+98%), Security, Trades & General Services (+86%) and Construction, Architecture & Property (+71%).
On a quarterly basis, the largest increases in vacancies are evident in Environmental, Health and Safety (+68%), Legal (+39%) and Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (+25%).
Meanwhile, a growing number of job vacancies are becoming available outside of Dublin.
While almost every county in Ireland, apart from three, experienced double or triple digit year-on-year growth, Wicklow (+134%), Kilkenny (+129%), Kildare (+114%) and Carlow (+116%) saw the largest rise in the number of job vacancies, with vacancies in the capital of Dublin rising by 38%.
"Today's results show that it is still very much an employee’s market," Ms Moran continued.
"HR departments will continue to have to work hard to fill key talent gaps in their organisation. One bit of good news for beleaguered recruiters is that, according to research carried out by iReach, 30% of people in March 2022 say they were looking to move job within the next 12 months compared to 23% of people surveyed in December 2021.
This period is being framed as the "Great Re-Evaluation" as employees assess their career options and consider what is important to them.
The hiring platform is also starting to see the impact of inflation, which the ESRI believe will run at an average of 6.7% for the year, and is likely to encourage employees to move jobs to try and attain higher salaries in order to keep pace with soaring consumer prices.
"This puts even more pressure on HR teams and employers to ensure they have the right strategies and internal resources in place to support their recruitment and retention ambitions in 2022," she said.
"It’s possible that inflation may, in time, replace Covid-19 and a better work-life balance as a key factor driving up the number of roles offering remote work, as people try to cut down on commuting and other costs associated with working from the office."