Wage pressures set to rise as employees eye career changes

Skilled worker shortage expected to be major challenge in 2022, says Chambers Ireland

Two-thirds of businesses expect wage pressures will increase in 2022, while about half say shortage of skilled workers is a major challenge, according to a survey by Chambers Ireland.

Some 368 Irish businesses were questioned about the outlook as part of the Eurochambres Economic Survey, Europe’s largest business sentiment survey. The findings indicated that although general confidence is high among companies, with 54 per cent expecting the business environment to be favourable next year, challenges remain.

Affordable access to energy and raw materials was the third most-cited challenge behind wage inflation and difficulties hiring skilled workers.

“Covid-19 is expected to continue to hinder the business environment in 2022, with supply chain disruption being a concern for 59 per cent of Irish respondents,” said Chambers Ireland chief executive Ian Talbot.


“Almost half of firms fear that further cycles of lockdown measures will negatively impact their growth in the coming year, while 48 per cent of respondents have recognised that shifts in consumer behaviour have created uncertainties for their businesses,” Mr Talbot said.

‘Trapped’ by job

The survey data was released as recruitment site IrishJobs.ie separately highlighted “pent-up demand” for career change among the Irish workforce, with more than two-fifths of employees saying they felt “stagnant” in their current role.

About 27 per cent said they felt “trapped” or “suffocated”, while about a fifth said they felt bored or under-stimulated.

The findings, which emerged from a survey of 1,040 employees, also pointed to a high level of dissatisfaction about salary levels, with 47 per cent believing they would benefit financially if they changed job.

The biggest barrier to making a career change was found to be loss of job security, while the fear of having to “prove” yourself to a new employer was also a common concern.

Meanwhile, an all-island study by Performance Reward Consulting found that 62 per cent of employers in Ireland do not currently link bonus plans for senior executives and management to sustainability or environmental measures.

The absence of bonus targets linked to environmental measures was particularly apparent in the technology sector and in financial services, it said.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics