Five percent growth in jobs forecast for Westmeath in 2023 - FRS Recruitment

The number of job opportunities in Westmeath will grow by 5% in the coming year, according to a new forecast from FRS Recruitment, one of the country’s leading recruitment agencies - this follows on from the 4% increase experienced in Westmeath in 2022.

While Westmeath experienced a positive increase in job openings in 2022, the counties to experience the highest increases included Dublin (up 36% ), Clare (up 31% ), Wicklow (up 34% ), Sligo (up 15% ), Cork (up 15% ) and Roscommon, which recorded the highest year on year increase with the number of roles more than doubling (up 101% ).

Nationally, the number of job postings handled by FRS Recruitment rose by 32% in 2022, reaching a total of 107,802 – up from 81,528 in 2021. Year on year the monthly increase was across 11 of the 12 months and illustrated the return of the market to post pandemic normality, with the level of jobs aligning with 2019, the last pre Covid year of activity.

Despite the surge in opportunities available, the number of people applying for jobs was down last year. FRS Recruitment recorded a total of 123,305 job responses in 2022 as it became a “candidates’ market” in some sectors. This meant the average response rate per role was at 1.14, down from 1.66 in 2021.

On a sub sector level the largest increase in roles experienced in 2022 was in Banking & Financial Services, which were up 106%. This was followed by opportunities in IT – Software Development (up 67% ) and IT – Support Services (up 46% ). Significant growth was also recorded in arts, entertainment and recreation (up 43% ), education & training (up 31% ) and professional services & practices (up 25% ).

FRS Recruitment is also forecasting further growth in IT, construction and healthcare recruitment for the year ahead, describing these sectors as “relatively inelastic”.

“We are confident that we will see further growth in recruitment opportunities in Westmeath for the year ahead. We experienced a good year in Westmeath last year and our belief is that this will continue over the coming 12 months.

“Both in Westmeath and nationally we believe there will be strong opportunities in the IT, healthcare and construction sectors. There has been such a build-up in openings across these sectors over recent years that they have become relatively inelastic and that will continue throughout 2023. Not all parts of the economy will rise in 2023, but we are very optimistic about the prospects in those particular sectors.

“Another trend we saw in Westmeath and across the economy last year was that the level of applications did not keep up with the number of openings. With the economy reaching a 20 year low for unemployment and nearing full employment, this impacted the market. For some high demand sectors it became a candidate’s market. This, coupled with the rising cost of living, meant significant pressure on salaries in some high demand sectors over 2022. With the economy likely to be less buoyant in the next year, we expect this pressure will diminish as candidates in Westmeath and nationally focus more on job security and work life balance considerations,” Lynne McCormack, General Manager with FRS Recruitment, said.


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