Number of IT workers shrinks by almost 6,000 on back of global downturn

CSO’s latest monthly payrolls data highlights how global tech retrenchment is playing out in State

Almost 6,000 IT workers left or lost their positions in the State’s technology sector last year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The agency’s “monthly estimates of payroll employees” uses real-time Revenue data to pinpoint trends in the Irish labour market.

The latest monthly figures for December show the number of people classified as being employed in the information and communication sector in the Republic fell by 4.6 per cent or 5,900 to 120,300 last year.

The sector globally has seen a series of lay-offs and restructurings since the end of the pandemic with Meta, Microsoft, Twitter (now X) and Stripe among the big names to announce job cuts here. Video-sharing platform TikTok said this week that it planned to cut hundreds of jobs worldwide as it restructures its training and quality division. A number of positions here are understood to be in the firing line.


Company chiefs have linked the tech downturn to overexpansion during the pandemic.

The latest CSO figures show seasonally adjusted employment in the Republic (as a whole) rose by 1.8 per cent per cent to 2.45 million last year, a period that corresponded with a gradual weakening in the global economy and a slowdown in Irish exports.

The headline figure differs from that captured by the CSO’s Labour Force Survey. Payrolls data counts people who have “worked for greater than zero pay during the reference month”.

The latest figure show six of 15 sectors in the Irish economy saw a monthly increase in the numbers employed in December while four saw a decrease with five seeing no change.

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The largest monthly fall was in the services sector (-1.4 per cent), while the largest monthly rises were seen in the construction sector and the public administration sector, which showed an increase of 0.3 per cent.

On an annual basis, the sectors showing the largest annual rises were transportation and storage (+5.8 per cent), and services (+5 per cent). Decreases were recorded in information and communication (-4.6 per cent), and administrative and support service activities (-1.6 per cent).

Employment in the construction sector rose by 3.3 per cent to 139,300. Last year saw a big upturn in residential construction. The number of new dwelling completions in 2023 were 32,695, an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times