2017 Salary and Benefits Guide


Morgan McKinley 2017 Salary Guide covers salary ranges for professionals working in Ireland.

2016 saw a strong performance for the Irish economy with GDP growth increasing to 4.2% and the unemployment rate decreasing from 8.5% to 7.3% during the year, the lowest it has been in eight years. These positive indicators resulted in  strong upward trends in domestic consumption and general investment, which did slow in the second half of the year. Forecasting into 2017 is difficult given the  uncertainty which exists around Brexit and the potential implications for the Irish economy.  

Given the increased prominence of a hard exit scenario GDP forecast now stands at 3.5% for 2017.   Any negative shock to foreign demand is expected to flow through the economy which has implications for the labour market and employment.  Approximately 30% of all employment is       in sectors that are heavily related to UK exports particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agri-food and tourism sectors.  Total employment in Ireland as we close out 2016 is at its highest level since Q4 2008.

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Morgan McKinley has compiled this salary guide against the backdrop of being Ireland’s largest professional staffing company.  Our widely published monthly employment monitor enables us to report on current skills demands and forecast future talent requirements.  Evidence points to further increases in the Irish labour force in 2017, with the total number of people in employment growing, albeit at a slower pace in the second half of 2016.  We anticipate that the most in demand talent will continue to be in the Pharmaceutical, Financial Services and IT sectors.  The growth in demand for hybrid talent in the FinTech space is being driven by new FinTech companies and the innovation labs of the large banks and consultancies.  The most sought after professionals in IT will be those with Big Data, Java Developer and Cybersecurity expertise.

Most notably, growth in the building and construction sector is predicted to be significant in 2017 as both commercial and housing markets react to increased demand. This growth will account for strong increase in hiring across all levels of the construction, supply chain, engineering and legal professions. 

The latter half of 2016 saw several high profile industrial disputes centring on wage claims so we enter 2017 with a note of caution that any changes in the non-traded sector of the economy can have significant implications for the traded sector in terms of additional pressure on private sector salary inflation. On average we expect to see upward pressure of between 5% - 10% on salary levels.
The findings of a research paper we commissioned in collaboration with Emolument.com during 2016 found that the average earnings gap in Ireland in 2016 stands at 20%. On average, men working in professional jobs earn €12,500 more than women when bonus and salary are taken into account. When the two are split, the average salary gap stands at 16% while the bonus gap goes up as high as 50%.

Foreign Direct Investment

Ireland has been successful in winning a number of Foreign Direct Investment accolades on a global scale, including topping the rankings as number 1 destination for high value FDI projects for the fourth successive year in IBM’s Global Locations Trends report. Furthermore Dublin improved two places in 2016 to third in the Financial Times FDI European City of the Future, excelling in economic potential and business friendliness sub-categories.  Capital investment into Ireland across 178 FDI Projects, reached USD$5.5billion in 2015, positioning Ireland as one of the leading benefactors of global FDI.

The need to continue to collaborate, innovate and differentiate Ireland’s value add when it comes to FDI, has never been more needed than today with post-Brexit opportunities to compete for, the necessity to consolidate our relationship with US MNC’s who currently contribute 74% of total FDI Ireland inflows (2015), while diversifying into new markets and winning new market share.  The reinforcement of Ireland’s position as the only English speaking country in the EU, stable political landscape, robust legal and tax framework, tax credit incentives for R&D, cluster of internationally recognised companies already here,  support of government bodies such as IDA Ireland to win opportunities from abroad and most importantly our ability to attract and retain highly skilled talent from all corners of the world to come live, work and stay in Ireland will be a key differentiator in Ireland delivering on the government’s Horizon 2020 strategy of 80,000 new jobs across 900 investments between 2015-2019.

Finally, we would like to thank you for your continued support throughout our years in business. We welcome any feedback or question on our guide.  Please do not hesitate to contact any member of our team for more detail. If you would like to find out more specific salary or hiring information please contact your local Morgan McKinley office today.