Why Salary Increases Are Expected Across Ireland In 2020

Recent reports have revealed that salaries grew at a rate of 3% - 5% across some sectors of the economy in 2019, and further increases are expected in 2020.

A deep-dive into the Irish economy by way of two reports has found that salary increases should be expected across a number of industries in 2020. 

The first report, compiled by the recruiter Brightwater, found that salaries in 2019 grew at a rate of three per cent to five per cent across some sectors of the economy, and further increases are expected in 2020.

The company's annual survey includes an economic overview by Bank of Ireland indicating there is plenty of momentum in the Irish economy and assuming that current UK-EU trading arrangements apply for another while yet, further growth is on the cards.

It says in a limited number of sectors, like cybersecurity, the demand for talent and counteroffers are driving salary increases as high as 20%.

It points to a good geographic spread of job creation, with the Munster and Connaught areas, in general, benefitting from employment growth in cybersecurity, med-tech, pharmaceutical and fin-tech as well as manufacturing.

“Notwithstanding the turbulence of Brexit, Ireland has experienced considerable movement on jobs, particularly within the banking, compliance, legal, supply chain and logistics sectors," says Barbara McGrath, MD of the Brightwater Group.

"While the potential impact of possible trade barriers and further tariffs is yet to be seen, the Government and professional bodies have done much in preparation and the impact may be reasonably limited. Post-Brexit, all expectations are that we should see a positive uplift in optimism across the economy.

“As in 2019, 2020 will see a rise in salaries which have risen on average between 3% and 5% but in certain sectors such as IT where there is a considerable shortage of talent, we have seen some salary increases up to 10%. However, counteroffers are prevalent especially in niche areas like cybersecurity and audit and are skewing perceptions of market-rate salaries.

"The much welcome changes this year to visa regulations for the spouses /dependents of visa holders has gone some way towards alleviating the pressure on talent shortages as the decision to relocate to Ireland has been made easier.”

McGrath's sentiment was thereby echoed by Bank of Ireland Group Chief Economist Dr Loretta O'Sullivan, who revealed that three in five businesses have ambitions to expand within the next three years.

“Subdued inflation is helping to boost households’ purchasing power and consumer spending is advancing at a decent clip, although it is fair to say that heightened Brexit uncertainty has been tempering the mood lately.

“The same goes for business sentiment, with a number of firms impacted by the UK’s decision to leave the EU indicating that they have pressed the pause button on their investment plans and are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach for the moment. However, our research also shows that three in five businesses have ambitions to expand within the next three years which bodes well."

Meanwhile, in a second report compiled by the recruiter Hays, shows that percentage salary increases are hitting double digits in certain sectors.

The study found that around seven in 10 employers expect there will be further pay increases in the year ahead.

The study also suggests that pay transparency is one of the most contentious issues emerging between employers and employees.

"Pay growth, combined with pockets of double-digit salary increases, demonstrates that the competition for talent remains high," Hays Ireland Managing Director Mike McDonagh said.

"This year, however, greater transparency about salaries is an issue that many employers must address.

"Transparency around pay is an important issue for professionals. Many also perceive there to be gender pay gaps, which is negatively impacting on the attraction and retention of staff," he said

Main image by @kyliejenner

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