Excerpted from the Ireland Career Guide
Following its entrance into the European Community (now the European Union) in 1973, Ireland transformed itself from an agricultural society into a modern and high-tech economy.Between 1995 and 2007, Ireland enjoyed average annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6 percent. However, the recent global recession, sparked by the burst of a speculative housing bubble, decreased international cost competitiveness and poor bank lending practices, led to the collapse of the 'Celtic Tiger.' Suffering from high public debt and significant wage reductions for public workers, Ireland accepted an EU-IMF bailout package in 2010. Last year, the country officially emerged from the program, having reduced its budget deficit from 32.4 percent to 7.4 percent.
The employment outlook for Ireland has been steadily improving. The number of professional vacancies has climbed by 20 percent from the same time last year.The country’s current unemployment rate is 11.1 – down from 12.6 percent from the same time the previous year and far below the country’s unemployment peak of 15.1 percent two years ago. However, the unemployment rate for those under 25 remains at a high 25 percent. In fact, Ireland has the largest number of young people not in training, education or employment in the EU.
Areas of Job Promise
Ireland’s economy is beginning to improve, bringing with it the promise of more employment opportunities. The following is a list of top ten growth occupations for Ireland published by the European Vacancy Monitor. The list is based on a Eurostat Labour Force Survey where employers were asked what occupations could expect significant growth once the employment market expands again.
- Clerical support workers
- Primary school and early childhood teachers
- Sales, marketing and public relations professionals
- Finance professionals
- Waiters and bartenders
- General office clerks
- Sales and purchasing agents and brokers
- Food preparation assistants
- Administration professionals
Data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office show that, overall, salaries remain below 2007 levels. Wages fell last year by .7 percent, and the average Irish employee currently earns a yearly salary of 35,830 EUR – 250 EUR less than in 2012. ESRI, an independent research institute located in Dublin, has predicted only a 1.3 percent increase in average earnings over the next two years.
Not all wage-earners are suffering equally, however. Salaries for information and communication workers have gone up by 10 percent over the past four years.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Ireland Guide.