Limerick has high job vacancy rate despite much unemployment

Maynooth economist says skills shortage due to changes in industrial structure

There is a growing skills gap and talent shortage emerging within Limerick, according to new research.

There is a growing skills gap and talent shortage emerging within Limerick, according to new research.

 

There is evidence of a skills shortage in Co Limerick as new research shows it has one of the highest job vacancy rates in the State despite also suffering from high unemployment.

Recruitment websites IrishJobs.ie and NIJobs.com have produced the first all-Ireland job vacancy map. A rate is calculated by the number of jobs available in a location, divided by the number of people in employment in that county. Each figure represents the number of vacancies per 1,000 employed people.

The report found that counties Antrim and Dublin have the highest job vacancy rates in Ireland. Dublin’s rate of 4.96 is however offset by its low unemployment rate. This, the report said, “put it ahead of any county” in the Republic.

“However, if left unchecked, this combination could push Dublin’s local economy into overdrive and potentially see further cost of living inflation increases,” it said.

Census 2016

In Limerick, the high job vacancy rate of 4.47 nearly equals that of the capital, but recent figures from Census 2016 show the county has an above-average unemployment rate of 14.4 per cent.

“The research indicates this may be due to the rise of vacancies in highly skilled jobs in sectors like technology and science that has outgrown the talent pool of graduates and employees within Limerick,” according to Maynooth University economist Chris van Egeraat.

“As a result, there is a growing skills gap and talent shortage emerging within Limerick. You see this when an economy is changing its industrial structure, and Limerick is a prime example of that.”

The data also reveals that central border counties have some of the lowest vacancy rates in the country. Cavan (1.59) and Monaghan (1.85) registered very low rates despite above average-unemployment rates of 15.1 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.