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UK — Recession has had a strong impact on Northern Ireland but optimism returns

08 July 2010

A new salary guide published by staffing agency Abacus Professional Recruitment shows that salaries in Northern Ireland have dropped by typically -5% to -15% and benefits have been capped or withdrawn completely, while redundancies have spread across virtually each business sector in the region, including the more robust markets of Accountancy and Legal.

However, positive signs are starting to reflect a more stable labour market with more companies calculating new staff appointments.

Alan Braithwaite, Business Director at Abacus Professional Recruitment, said "many local firms are certainly more confident and outward looking. Recruitment is returning to their radar, although with justifiable caution. They are smartly managing a blended recruitment strategy by taking on temporary staff and appointing people on interim contract of perhaps 3-6 months. Importantly, the volume of permanent recruitment is rising as well and decisions are being made faster, both positive indicators for the future."

The main findings by sector include:
  • Accountancy: some equilibrium gained after periods of pay cuts and redundancies.
  • ICT: comparably strong with some skill shortages evident and growth forecast.
  • Legal: salary cuts of 10-20% experienced and minimal opportunity for newly qualified solicitors however specialist roles are still in demand.
  • Banking: significant job losses and many bonuses withdrawn but next 12 months more positive which follows recent trends in London.
  • Insurance: salary cuts experienced in a highly competitive arena but strategic demand for experienced personnel on-going.
  • General office roles: volume of temporary roles increasing but salaries squeezed.
  • HR and Marketing: regarded as early casualties in an economic downturn however employment opportunities starting to return.

To read the full salary survey please click here


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