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Chilly Winds of Change – but Economic “RealFeel” Still More or Less, As You Were

Depending on what weather app you use daily, you’re given the official temperature of that day and then you’re told what the day really feels like, set as “realfeel”. This seems to be based on a number of factors – mostly down to wind chill on these cold January days.

With the first month of 2024 now nearly behind us (where did that go??), it doesn’t feel like there’s been much change in the real economy from the end of 2023 through to the start of 2024. In fact, it still feels like we could be in 2022 with most of the day-to-day recruitment demands relatively constant througout. Surprisingly so. It’s still hard to get good technical skills of almost any kind. Still hard to get specialists in lots of sectors. We hear the phrase, “anyone who wants to have a job, has a job”, almost daily. If you go looking for someone to do a particular type of job with specialist skills or combination of skills, you can often be disappointed of how few options you initially have available to you.

Yet there are a couple of storm clouds which are getting harder to ignore. With the news this weekend of PPD sadly shutting it’s Athlone Campus down, and Three shedding 150 jobs across the country, it prompted us to run a search on the magic answer box as to what is the damage to recruitment confidence likely to be – ie. what is the “real” realfeel as we start the new year.

In a nutshell it looks like outside of the Ireland bubble, 2023 was a generally mixed bag. The tech sector was hit, but how many of those people didn’t just walk in to other jobs? You don’t hear of long lines of dole queues around Silicon dock in Dublin. The ESRI has us as officially in recession, but this seems to be mostly down to a fall-off in pharma companies IP from not selling as many covid related medicines as previous years – hardly a huge surprise to anyone either.

Yet it’s not impossible that there could now be some more availability of skills out there in 2024 than there had been over the past couple of years. Our advice to employers would be, if you think you’re order books will be busy in 2024, then list job vacancies good and early, and list often. Of course we would say that, but finding the skills you need, will certainly be a numbers game and this takes perseverance. Even if you don’t get what you’re looking for initially, keep going.  Midlandjobs offers annual subscription packages which allows local companies unlimited access to list job vacancies or your potential hiring requirements online, cost-effectively. And for one-off requirements, our platform offers job slots to remain live for 60 days at a flat fee as standard, rather than the standard 30 days on other platforms. For more information about our job listing packages – click here.