The graduate jobs market: Labour market information for February 2011

Much has been said about the new Enda Kenny-led government picking up a poisoned chalice, and certainly they will need luck and a fair wind behind them in their negotiations with Brussels to bring down the repayment rates for the massive borrowings taken out to cover the banking crisis. However, there are signs that in the jobs market, they may be coming into a situation that, while still bleak, is showing signs of brightening, at least in terms of graduate recruitment.

The continuing trend on gradireland.com is for a rise in the number of graduate jobs being advertised. In February, the average number of jobs on the site was 165 per day, up by 10 from the January average and, more significantly, an increase of 29 per cent on the same month one year ago.

IT continues to be the sector showing the largest demand, particularly for programmers and developers, although there were slightly fewer jobs in this sector than in January, which would suggest that these vacancies are being filled quite quickly. There was a wider spread of jobs across all sectors on the site during February: in January, 42 per cent of the jobs were in the top three sectors (IT; accountancy & financial management; and engineering) but this has reduced to 36 per cent this month so both the total number and the sector spread of the jobs has grown. Marketing, advertising and PR showed good growth this month, with the number of jobs here up 20 per cent month-on-month.

Most of the jobs on gradireland.com are located in Ireland (north and south), although 13 per cent are UK-based or further afield (a decline of 6 per cent). 16 per cent of the jobs on the site are classed as graduate work placements or internships, which is unchanged since January.

One of the biggest challenges that gradireland faces is conveying to students and graduates that all hope is not gone and that there are jobs in Ireland for the graduating class of 2011, despite the unrelenting negativity in the press which would suggest that your only option is to emigrate. This is not true, as the figures above would indicate. We will be rolling out a Careers Roadshow ‘Help is Here’ Tour over the next few weeks, so watch out for news on that. We will be travelling the country supporting students with careers information, giveaways and most importantly a positive message that you have more options than a one-way ticket abroad.

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