Ireland’s labour market has been shaken up by recent tech layoffs and a post-pandemic reassessment of work.

FREMONT, CA: Ireland's workforce has recently been heavily struck by worldwide tech sector cutbacks. The Irish digital sector had more than 270,000 direct employees before these layoffs, in addition to many ancillary positions.

Ireland's average yearly wage for tech workers is Euro 74,000, accounting for 11 per cent of the nation's income tax receipts. While gross pay rose in all industries in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels, tech salaries rose by an astonishing 28 per cent, while hospitality incomes only rose by one per cent.

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These well-paid computer professionals have been better able to afford Ireland's high rents and home prices–even amid the recent housing, energy, and cost-of-living crises–as they have more purchasing power. However, it is debatable whether or not these were first enhanced by the expansion of high-paying industries like science and technology.

Many times, foreign companies provide these positions. Ireland's employment from foreign direct investment broke records in the most recent year. More than 300,000 people were employed by multinationals, with 116,192 of those positions coming from technology and communication companies.

The European Silicon Valley, often known as the Dublin docklands, is where many of the biggest internet companies in the world have operations, including Twitter (NASDAQ: META), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Meta (NASDAQ: META), LinkedIn, Stripe, and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL). However, Ireland's economic vulnerability in the face of a worldwide recession and the current tech downturn has raised some concerns because just 10 corporations account for 36 per cent of all taxes collected in the nation.

Before these layoffs, however, homegrown tech companies and many other sectors were seeing record job vacancies due to ongoing employment growth from foreign corporations.

Local businesses have found it tough to hire at pace over the last two years.

This year, the number of open positions in the entire Irish economy reached a record high. This suggests that recent layoffs by multinational tech companies may have a positive impact, especially if they free up talent for domestic tech companies. Additionally, it might open up employment prospects for those who are now underrepresented in the workforce, such as women and older workers.

The Great Reshuffle

Nearly half (45 per cent) of all Irish people who returned to work after the pandemic changed jobs, and 69 per cent of them also switched industries. This unusual shift in the labour market suggests that there has been a post-pandemic reevaluation of who works where and why. Indeed, Ireland has experienced a great rearrangement rather than the great resignation that other nations have.

And while some of these workers switch from fantastic jobs to excellent ones, others move from miserable employment to work that is only marginally better or leave the workforce altogether. Unabated competition exists for both high-talent and unskilled labour.

The Irish labour market is becoming increasingly dualistic, as seen by this churn. Recent OECD data reveals that the issue of low pay learning below two-thirds of the country's median income is significantly more acute in Ireland than in many other industrialised countries, notwithstanding hefty compensation packages for multinational and tech sector workers.

Ireland has the highest rate of low pay among western EU countries, at 18 per cent. For migrant employees nearly one-fifth of Irish workers, women, younger, and older workers, this issue is especially severe.

One-third of the earnings of IT workers are often earned by the lowest-paid workers in society, those in the hospitality industry. According to a recent analysis, after the pandemic, half of all Irish workers in the hotel industry changed employers. The majority of these workers two-thirds transferred to new industries including retail and support or administrative services.