Munster’s employment outlook is holding strong according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released this week by Manpower Ireland.

The survey reveals that 11% of Munster employers are predicting they will hire more staff in the coming quarter. This figure shows a notable improvement of 8% in quarter-over-quarter results but a considerable decrease of 11 percentage points is reported year-over-year.

In contrast, employers in Connaught have predicted a modest hiring outlook of 2% for the coming three months, the lowest for the entire country. This figure reveals a decrease of 2% in the hiring outlook since quarter one and also shows a disappointing 8% decrease in year-over-year comparisons.

Construction industry employers anticipate an optimistic quarter-over-quarter improvement in hiring activity from minus one in quarter one to a positive 8% in quarter two. A slight decline in hiring activity, of just 3 percentage points, can be seen in year-over-year comparisons.

The overall net employment outlook figure is calculated by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter. Ireland’s net employment outlook for quarter two is a reassuring 6%, up two percentage points from the first quarter.

This figure of 6% reveals the first recorded improvement in the national hiring outlook since the final quarter of 2006, the employment outlook having undergone a continuous decline over the past 12 months.

Conducted quarterly, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measures employers’ intentions to increase or decrease their workforces over the forthcoming quarter and is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, gathering data from 55,199 employers across the globe each quarter.

Jason Kennedy, Managing Director of Manpower Ireland, which specialises in workforce management solutions, says: “The survey results are reassuring for the Irish economy as a whole. In spite of many warnings and gloomy forecasts the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which speaks to employers directly, has shown that many employers are feeling positive about the future growth of their companies. Even in the construction industry which has been the focus of much controversy in the last six months, 8% of all employers in this sector are planning on hiring more staff in the coming quarter.

“In comparing Ireland’s employment outlook with many of our European neighbours we can clearly see that we are still growing at an enviable pace. Ireland, the UK and Belgium have all reported an employment outlook of 6% for the coming quarter, France and Italy have recorded a weaker employment outlook of just 4% and only 2% of Spanish employers are intending on hiring more staff in the next three months”.