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Ireland — Tentative evidence that the rate of deterioration may be easing

17 September 2009

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey has found that 13 per cent of Irish employers expect to reduce staff numbers between October and December this year.

The survey, which measures 620 Irish employers' intentions to increase or decrease their workforces over the next three months, also reveals that Ireland's net employment outlook for the next three months is -8 per cent, among the weakest hiring forecasts globally with Spain (-8%) and Romania (-11%).

However, despite the gloomy outlook, employers in 10 out of 11 industry sectors and three out of five regions report stronger quarter-over-quarter forecasts.

With the exception of the pharmaceutical industry sector, where the outlook is a flat 0 per cent, negative hiring activity is reported by employers in every other Irish industry sector. Employers in the construction sector (-23%) report Ireland's weakest outlook, although the hiring pace is expected to improve by a moderate five and 4 percentage points quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, respectively.

Krissie Davies, Managing Director of Manpower Ireland said, "the pace of workforce reductions appears to have peaked in the first three-quarters of this year. While the Irish labour market is predicted to continue to weaken with 13% of Irish employers envisaging letting staff go, there is finally some evidence, albeit tentative, to suggest that the rate of deterioration may be easing."

"However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the numbers signing on are likely to rise in coming months, as employers continue to adjust and align payrolls to the current difficult business climate."

Employers in all five Irish regions have reported negative hiring intentions for the forthcoming quarter. However, quarter-over-quarter comparisons reveal that the net employment outlooks have slightly improved in three of the five regions.



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