December Employment Monitor | Professional job opportunities decreased by 20% in December compared to November but outlook for 2017 still positive

Aldagh McDonogh 18.01.2017

2% increase in professionals seeking jobs on the previous year


  • There was a 20% decrease in the number of professional jobs available in December 2016 when compared to November 2016. 
  • Availability of professional jobs fell nationally by 8% in December 2016 compared to the same month last year.  
  • There were 24% fewer professionals registering for professional opportunities compared to the previous month, though 2% more than the same month last year.  
  • Financial Services experienced its busiest December in many years with employers forecast to continue hiring during the first quarter of 2017. Compliance & Risk skill sets are in constant demand and with ongoing Central Bank & EU Regulations updates through 2017 this will ensure demand for candidates in this area will be high.  
  • Employers in financial services are looking for more niche/specialist candidates with a technical understanding and ability to implement the new regulatory framework requirements from CRD4, Solvency 2 etc. 
  • Tax accountants are at peak demand. While salaries for these professionals did not increase significantly over the last 12 months, it is expected than an increase will be seen in the region of 5% - 10% as reported in the recent launch of Morgan McKinley’s annual Salary Guide for 2017
  • In IT, Java and .Net developers remained the most sought after skills. There has been a notable push by employers to employ IT candidates on a permanent basis and matching the premium for a contractor has been a successful practise utilised by some organisations.
  • A record level of FDI announcements in the second half of 2016 is ensuring a knock-on effect in the demand for professional services talent across legal, tax, and accountancy. 
  • Across all areas of supply chain there is an increased demand for Level 8 qualifications coupled with a greater need for IT literacy and the ability to communicate across all levels of a business.   
  • Professional candidates are continuing to return to Ireland mainly from Australia, the UAE, Canada and the UK.  The latest migrant talent is returning with M & A, change management, project management, engineering and accounting experience. Due to the success of the IDA’s regional development strategy, there has been a greater number registering interest for comparable career opportunities in the regions.   


Wednesday 18th January  2017:  The number of professional job vacancies in December 2016 was down 20% nationally compared to the previous month, according to the December 2016 Morgan McKinley Ireland Employment Monitor. While there was a 24% month-on-month decrease in the number of professionals registering in the job market, December was one of the most active months for many years within HR and Financial Services.

Morgan McKinley Ireland, Director of Inward Investment, Trayc Keevans commented:

“With most hiring occurring between September and November the decline in vacancies in December 2016 is seasonal and expected but a record level of FDI job announcements in 2016 saw an increased demand for professional services driving recruitment activity particularly among legal, tax and accountancy professionals.

There is very high demand for candidates with strong experience in highly regulated environments due to ongoing changes to Central Bank and EU regulations.  Employers are now seeking more specialist expertise to manage the effective implementations of the new Regulatory Frameworks, however given their early stage, there is a limited pool of talent with relevant technical understanding, early adopter and implementation experience.

The most active sectors nationally this month were Professional Services, Pharma and Technology / IT. We can see already that 2017 will be an interesting year for IT contractors.  The market is pushing towards permanent hires representing a more cost effective and better retention option than contract hires.

Concurrently, we are seeing IT job seekers themselves leaning towards longer term employment opportunities where benefit packages that include share options representing a significant factor in their decision making. This has turned heads for some “career” IT contractors due to the potential financial rewards.

However, there is still a skills shortage in software development resulting in a continued demand for IT contract professionals for the foreseeable future.”



View our December Employment Monitor infographic here


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Céline Crawford, MKC Communications, 01 703 8613 / 086 8235777


About the Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor

The Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor (previously known as the Premier Group Irish Employment Monitor) measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market by tracking the number of new job vacancies and new candidates within the Republic of Ireland each month. See for details. 

Statistical methodology

  • Monthly new jobs and new candidates:

Monthly new jobs and new candidate figures are based on Morgan McKinley’s own monthly records of new permanent job vacancies and new candidates registering with the firm for permanent employment. Statistics for the full market are derived using Morgan McKinley’s own market share.

  • Job classification:

Job vacancies are professional level roles within the following sectors and functions: Banking & Financial Services, Commerce & Industry Finance, Insurance, Public Practice & Tax, legal, HR, IT, Life Sciences, Engineering, Process & Manufacturing, Professional Services, Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, Secretarial & Office Support.

  • Geography:

The data is based on new job vacancies and new candidates registered with Morgan McKinley’s network of Irish offices in Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford.

About Morgan McKinley in Ireland

Irish owned Morgan McKinley is a global professional recruitment consultancy connecting specialist talent with leading employers across multiple industries and disciplines.

With offices across Ireland, the UK, EMEA, Asia and Australia, its professional recruitment expertise spans the accounting & finance, financial services, technical and IT sectors. Morgan McKinley is a preferred supplier to most of the major employers in its specialist sectors and thousands of smaller local firms.

In 2016, Morgan McKinley was recognised as one of the top five Best Workplaces in Ireland, in the Great Place to Work Awards. The company also received an award for the best Learning & Development Organisation at the Irish Institute of Training and Development Awards and ranked sixth globally on LinkedIn’s list of the Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies.


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