Signs two-tier economic growth ending

More jobs are being created outside the Dublin region as the economic recovery broadens and finally spells an ending to the two-tier economy, according to two surveys published today.

Utilities such as electricity and gas are hiring strongly, most sectors are increasing their number of posts, hotels and restaurants are more optimistic than they have been for five years, and employers in the Ulster counties expect to start hiring strongly too, recruitment firm Manpower found.

“Employer confidence seems to be strengthening,” said Jonny Edgar, operations manager at Manpower Ireland. “The fact that employers in 10 out of the 11 sectors surveyed plan to increase staff in the coming months is great news for job seekers. The electricity, gas and water sector is expected to perform the strongest, which is evident from recent job announcements such as from Siro, which represents a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone.”

Employers in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector were the only ones to record a decrease in the pace to hire staff in the past year, Manpower said.

However, most employers in Dublin and Leinster say they will continue to hire strongly, and those in Munster are also optimistic they will create more jobs, while Connaught firms were only modestly positive.

However, Ulster employers showed the largest upswing in their intentions to hire staff, according to Manpower.

Separately, a new “optimism” barometer published by BDO found that many large firms had increased their profits in the past year and detected signs that economic well-being is spreading outside the Dublin region.

“The gap in the two tier economy finally seems to be closing with better results recorded for businesses outside of Dublin for a range of indicators, including operational profit and overall business optimism,” said Michael Costello, managing partner at BDO.

“This is hugely encouraging news for the whole country. Drilling down into some of the statistics, business growth is moving in the right direction, and growth figures for this quarter against the same period last year remain strong.

“The most basic indicator, turnover, is strong and that strength is driving optimism and in turn giving confidence of price increases at last.”

A large majority of start-up companies are optimistic about the outlook of businesses in Ireland, according to the AIB Start-Up Academy meeting in Cork.

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