Members of the workforce are responding to the pandemic by upskilling and engaging in lifelong learning according to the second Labour Market Pulse index published today by IDA Ireland in partnership with Microsoft and LinkedIn. The Labour Market Pulse combines LinkedIn’s real-time insights on its two million Irish members with publicly available information from IDA Ireland and the CSO. It  examines up to date insights across 3 main areas –

  • Labour Market trends and the impact of the pandemic and ongoing restrictions

  • Employment opportunities in growing sectors

  • Upskilling and lifelong learning in technology and interpersonal skills

An informative infographic is developed from the available data  to inform decision makers in business, academia and public policy of the performance of the Irish Labour market. The infographic also informs individuals who may be considering new opportunities, of the types of roles and skills most in demand in the labour market today
The analysis found that the LinkedIn Hiring Rate continued to pick up in October and November, matching 2019 levels and in some cases, exceeding them. Hiring was lower in December as new Government restrictions were put in place, but traditional  seasonal patterns in hiring in January saw a brief spike int hiring despite ongoing restrictions.   
The impact of the pandemic on the tourism, hospitality & retail sectors is well established and evident in the job seeking behaviour of those working in these sectors. LinkedIn insights measure the likelihood that a person in a certain sector has applied for a job in a sector different to their own. In December 2020, the data shows that people working in recreation & travel and retail are almost twice as likely, compared to last year, to apply for jobs in other sectors.
On the demand side, over the past twelve months, LinkedIn insights show the skills which have been added most frequently over the past year. As of December 2020, those which were added most frequently were a mix of technical skills and interpersonal competencies including SQL, digital marketing, Python, critical thinking, and project management.
The growth in technical skills is very much in line with the ongoing growth in Data Analytics and Data Science activity in Ireland and points to encouraging levels of upskilling to match opportunities in the jobs market. 
Technical skills growth is matched by growth in soft skills development which points to a maturing of the skills’ mix in Ireland and is in line with a global trend for people to avail of personal development opportunities during Covid-19.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland said "The Labour Market Pulse is a useful tool to gather insightful information about ongoing trends in Ireland’s labour market. “The findings show that some sectors and individuals have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. It also shows that the pandemic is accelerating emerging trends with the potential to reshape business models, such as automation and technology adoption, robotics and AI, and it is IDA Ireland’s ambition to capitalise on these opportunities to provide MNCs with solutions to the challenges they face in this difficult global environment. I also welcome the findings that people are upskilling in areas such as technology to match the jobs opportunities available.  Ireland is an established technology hub within Europe and the maturation and ongoing skills development in the sector is very attractive to potential investors.”

Sharon McCooey, Head of LinkedIn Ireland, commented:Over the coming months, we hope to see green shoots of an economic recovery begin to emerge, particularly in the sectors most impacted by restrictions. While Covid-19 has forced some people to seek job opportunities in a different sector, the reality is that all of us will change careers half a dozen times in our professional lives, so it is vital to continuously develop new technical and interpersonal skills. In this regard, we are proud of the role we have been able to play to help our Irish members find new opportunities and learn new skills though our partnership with Microsoft, giving professionals free access to online courses through LinkedIn Learning.”
Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said: “While the public health challenge remains the priority for the Government there is also an increased focus on rebuilding the economy and driving an inclusive and sustainable recovery. The reality is that this recovery will be digitally led with almost all aspects of the economy now becoming truly digital. This is reflected in the Labour Market insights with strong career and development opportunities emerging for those with technology and digital skills.”
“It is important that education, learning and training decisions are informed by this data. In fact, just this week we were delighted to launch a national digital skills training programme called StepIn2Tech, which has been designed in partnership with Fastrack to IT to equip 10,000 people with the digital skills required to transfer to emerging and in-demand roles within the digital economy. It is particularly focused on supporting those whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic, students who’ve either recently left school or college or people mid-career in an industry that is digitally transforming. We’re hopeful about the impact this programme can have at a time when digital skills are critical to the future of work.”
Link to infographic-
The LinkedIn Hiring Rate (LHR) is the number of LinkedIn members who added a new employer to their profile in the same month the new job began, divided by the total number of LinkedIn members in that country.