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MORGAN McKINLEY IRISH EMPLOYMENT MONITOR NOVEMBER 2010

Cautious optimism within the professional jobs market leading into 2011
Half of managers surveyed expect their companies to pay modest year end bonuses

MORGAN McKINLEY IRISH EMPLOYMENT MONITOR NOVEMBER 2010

Hiring Market Survey Highlights:

Compared to 2010, 46% of managers across the finance, technical, office support and IT functions in Ireland feel more positive about the economic outlook for 2011.

Approximately half of respondents expect their organisations to pay year end bonuses for 2010.

The majority (83%) believe these bonuses will be between 1-10% of base salaries.

Irish Employment Monitor Highlights:

The volume of professional job vacancies in Ireland decreased by 5% month-on-month in November 10. This was however, a 34% increase when compared to the same time in November 09.

The number of professionals beginning their job search in Ireland held quite steady in November 10, with a minimal 1% drop from October 10 and a 2% increase year-on-year from November 09.

Throughout November 10, Morgan McKinley conducted a telephone survey of 723 senior-level operational and HR managers hiring across the finance, technical, office support and IT functions in businesses in Ireland. The survey found that 46% of managers feel more positive about the outlook for the Irish economy in 2011, compared to the same time last year. Of the remaining respondents, 23% felt less positive and 30% felt the same.

When asked about year end bonuses, the response was fairly evenly split between those who expect their business to pay bonuses this year (50.5%) and those who do not (49.5%). Those anticipating bonuses expect them to be quite modest, with 45% of managers expecting them to fall in the range of 1- 5% of base salaries, while 38% of respondents are anticipating bonuses to be 6-10% of base salaries.
Karen O'Flaherty, Operations Director of Premier Group Ireland, commented:
The results of Morgan McKinleys latest Hiring Market Survey show that approximately half of managers working across finance, technical, office support and IT functions in Ireland expect their businesses to distribute year end bonuses for 2011.

This may come as a surprise considering there is currently caution in the Irish marketplace on the back of serious economic uncertainty. The data does show however that the majority of managers anticipating bonus pay outs believe they will be modest in size that is between 1 and 10% of basic salaries. This reflects increased business performance in some areas of the market compared to last year, however business activity remains relatively muted.

Despite the current mood of austerity, some organisations are choosing to recognise and reward their employees, many of whom have not received bonuses or salary increases for a number of years or have taken reduced salaries or benefits because of the downturn. In particular, companies where projects have been shortened or terminated, and/or there is the threat of redundancies, may be using year end bonuses (even minimal ones) as a mechanism to retain key staff. Even in this challenging economic climate, companies recognise there are still shortages of skilled professionals in certain sectors, so staff retention is a priority.

The survey also found that 46% of Irish managers (most notably those in the IT sector) feel more positive about the countrys economic outlook for 2011 than they did at the same time last year. This suggests that even though the majority of Irish professionals have been affected by economic challenges and uncertainty, there is still a sense of cautious optimism leading into 2011. As reflected by trends in Morgan McKinleys Irish Employment Monitor, many Irish professionals feel that overall, 2010 was a more positive time for business than the previous couple of years. There appears to be a hopeful, yet restrained, mood that this slight improvement will continue into 2011.
Irish job opportunities dip slightly in November 10

The Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor registered a 5% decrease in the number of new professional roles coming onto the market during November 10. Vacancies decreased from 6,244 in October 10 to 5,926 in November 10. This was however, a 34% increase from November 09 figures, illustrating an improvement in the number of new professional job opportunities year-on-year.

A minor decrease in the number of professionals entering the Irish jobs market was also registered. Volumes of new job seekers fell by 1% from 11,115 in October 10 to 11,015 in November 10. This was however a small rise of 2% year-on-year from November 09.

Karen O'Flaherty, Operations Director of Premier Group Ireland, commented:
The 5% monthly decrease in the number of professional jobs is quite typical for this time of year, as many firms begin to wind down their hiring activities moving into the festive season.

November 10 did however see increased recruitment activity in the technical jobs sector, predominantly due to the organic growth of multinational and SME employers. Technical salespeople and procurement specialists are in high demand as companies look to hire staff that will positively impact their bottom lines. There is also strong demand from the pharmaceutical industry for medical advisors in anticipation of the Irish Medicines Boards new regulatory laws due to be laid down in the first half of 2011.

There was a very slight decrease month-on-month in the number of professionals newly active in the Irish jobs market in November 10. Overall, this volume holds relatively steady when compared to both month-on-month (-1%) and year-on-year (2%) results.

Overall, job opportunities have peaked in the last three months which is a positive indicator as we look ahead to 2011.

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