The national training and education authority, which published its Irish Labour Market Review 2006 yesterday, has forecast employment growth of around 2.8% — or between 57,000 and 60,000 jobs — during 2007. In addition, unemployment numbers are expected to rise marginally from 94,000 this year to 99,000 in 2007.
Speaking at yesterday’s report launch, Mr Martin added that “immigration and the increase of the number of women in the workforce were the key drivers of productivity during this year”. He also said that the labour force here — or the number of people who are actually eligible or available for work — reached 92,000 this year.
Next year’s slight slowdown in growth will come mainly from an expected slowdown in the construction sector.
“The vast majority of the employment growth this year and next is expected to come from the services sector, while the contribution of the construction sector is forecast to change from being strongly positive in 2006 (it added 19,000 jobs) to being broadly neutral in 2007 (adding only an estimated 1,000 new jobs in comparison),” said Rody Molloy, director general of FÁS.