Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Number of ICT workers shrinks as tech job cuts feed through

Must read

Employment in all sectors of the State’s economy has risen in the past year, with the biggest increase seen in the accommodation and food service activities sector, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The agency’s new “monthly estimates of payroll employees” uses real-time Revenue data to pinpoint trends in the Irish labour market.

The latest figures show seasonally adjusted employment in the Republic rose by 4.8 per cent per cent in the 12 months to January, a period that corresponded with the reopening of the economy in the wake of Covid but also with a sharp increase in living costs.

All 15 sectors of the economy recorded increases in employment compared with a year earlier, the accommodation and food service activities sector saw the largest increase in the number of employees, up 12.1 per cent year on year.

Still, some sectors have shrunk in recent months. The number of workers in information and communication technology has fallen by 1,100 between January and December. On an adjusted basis, the number of employees in that sector dipped by 400.

Unemployment in the Irish economy fell to another two-decade low of 4.3 per cent in February despite the inflationary headwinds. This was down from 4.6 per cent in February last year and suggests conditions in the labour market remain tight.

The number of ICT workers has declined in three of the past five months, economist Simon Barry said. “The emerging softening of jobs trends in the very latest figures is a reflection of the headwinds now facing the sector, which have been evident in several recent high-profile job-cut announcements,” he added.

Facebook owner Meta has announced a further round of global job cuts after slashing about 11,000 last year, including 350 in Dublin. Google owner Alphabet, Microsoft and Stripe have all laid off Irish-based staff in recent months. Even so, there are still 6.1 per cent more workers in ICT on an adjusted basis than a year ago.

“This new and important gauge of employment in the sector has now fallen by 1,600 since its peak of 125,800 reached in August of last year,” he said. “Despite these recent declines, tech services employment remains over 19,000 higher than its January 2020 pre-pandemic level, consistent with the exceptionally rapid growth enjoyed by the sector over the past three years,” he added.

Latest article