Limerick outperforms rest of the country for job creation

Expansion of Northern Trust and Regeneron is turning city into employment hotspot

It may have suffered from some of the highest rates of unemployment in recent years, but Limerick’s economic recovery continues to gain pace, with a new survey revealing that it now has one of the strongest job-creation growth rates.

According to the Jobs Index from, Limerick is one of Ireland's top performers in terms of new business growth, posting a 43 per cent increase in job vacancies in the third quarter of the year when compared to the same period in 2016, and 22 per cent on the second quarter of this year. This is due to employers such as Northern Trust and Regeneron expanding their operations.

This compares with overall growth rate of just 3 per cent, with growth also strong in Dublin (up 9 per cent) and Galway (up 16 per cent) but muted in Cork (up 1 per cent).

Across the country, hospitality accounted for the largest share of job vacancies (14 per cent) in the third quarter, followed by banking and finance (10 per cent), sales (9 per cent) and tech (8 per cent). Job vacancies in STEM sectors (science, pharmaceuticals and food) rose by 15 per cent.


‘Steady growth’

Orla Moran, general manager with, says the figures point to "another year of steady growth, with a sustained, albeit modest, increase in the number of jobs vacancies".

However, she also struck a note of caution.

“While the Jobs Index results are positive, a number of challenges threaten continued economic growth. Despite some counties bucking the trend, we’re seeing rural Ireland lag behind in job creation. In the midlands and the southeast, unemployment rates are the highest in the country.”

She added that “the spectre of Brexit” also looms large and the slow pace of UK-EU negotiations may be lulling businesses into a false sense of security. “Many Irish employers are understandably cautious of committing to new recruitment until the macro-landscape becomes a little clearer,” she said.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times