The Current State Of The Employment Sector

The Current State Of The Employment Sector

Posted on:
by Namratha Ambat
IT Jobs and Recruitment Insights

From a work point of view, there have been numerous articles and large buckets of information regarding how to deal with COVID, how to protect yourself and your team, and how to adjust to the new normal. As the restrictions are beginning to wind down and plans for the future are being mapped out, it’s time to take a look at the impact the pandemic has had on the work-life of people. How was the employment sector impacted? What is predicted for the future of employment?  And the big question of how many jobs could potentially return? 

Key impacts of COVID on the employment sector

The sudden and quick change brought about by the pandemic resulted in  major trends experienced across the industry. 

  • Rapid Unemployment

The COVID crisis has had a significant impact on the labour market. While the standard measure of Monthly Unemployment was 5.4%, the COVID adjusted measure could indicate a rate as high as 28.2%, according to the Monthly Unemployment release from the Central Statistics Office. Furthermore, the report by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection states that the worst hit groups are- young, low-skilled, female and part-time. The tourism, food and construction industries have been the worst hit by the coronavirus chaos. With 80% of the construction workers on the government scheme and 92% of the workforce in the food and accommodation dependent on the state, these sectors have been the most heavily impacted.

  • Reduced working hours and salaries

Staff at different levels, depending on the company have taken major pay cuts. Especially in those industries that have been severely affected such as airlines, hospitality, entertainment, etc, have even seen the CEO’s forfeiting half if not their entire salary for the year to help cope with the strains the pandemic has brought about on their business.

  • Acceleration in some industries and slowing down of others

Depending on the industry, there are some areas that remain unimpacted by the virus, apart from the shift to working from home. Whereas, retail and hospitality seemed to have taken a big hit with the staff being laid off temporarily. The figures as mentioned earlier, show that around 92% of staff in the accommodation and food sectors were either receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or were on the Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme. However, delivery services, game makers and sellers, pharmaceutical companies and so on, are not only surviving but thriving during the pandemic.

How many jobs will come back after COVID?

  • Drop in the number of people dependant on the state

As the first stage of easing restrictions was implemented on the 18th of May, certain sectors have resumed their functions, such as the construction industry. According to a report by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, as of June 2nd 2020, the number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payment is 543,200 spread across all counties in Ireland. The report shows a drop of 36,200 in the last week coming off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the biggest drop was seen in the construction industry with a weekly drop of 14,100. The rest can been seen spread across different sectors. 

The sector-wise breakdown shows that: 


Sector wise breakdown of people going back to work and coming off state funds

(Source: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Seeing a drop in the number of people dependent on the government scheme is a positive indication and certainly, there are industries that will bounce back quicker than others. The 8th of June now will bring about another wave of people slowly resuming their work and lessening the unemployment rate.

Slowly but surely a week-on-week increase in the number of job postings is being seen. For example, a 36% increase in job vacancies was seen in London this week. Also, as a recruitment agency ourselves, we are slowly seeing companies going back into the market in pursuit of talent in Ireland. 

Few positive takeaways from COVID

  • Working from home

All companies that can afford to work from home, have now gained more confidence in the concept. Over the past 2-3 months all companies that could, have made a shift to a virtual form of working and it has panned out positively for most. There will always remain concerns around the onboarding process and maintaining company culture, but if needs be, the work from home option seems like a more acceptable concept.

  • Hiring remotely

As working from home gains more traction, so does the likelihood of hiring remotely. Companies can now expand their search for talent and hire suitable professionals outside their immediate location, thereby increasing their chances of securing talent and reducing costs. 

This is just a glimpse into the situation at hand and how slowly there are improvements being seen as we start to unwind. If you have any further questions regarding the state of the employment sector and require any further information on what we are hearing from the market, do get in touch with us on and we would be happy to help. Even if you feel you have something worthwhile to contribute to this blog, do send on the information and we would be happy to share it. 

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