Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Revealed: The number of jobs lost in Ireland’s technology sector

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Ireland’s technology sector has suffered its biggest annual decline in employment, with almost 6,000 jobs lost, new figures show, writes Helen Bruce.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said that employment in the information and communication sector, which includes global names such as Google, Meta and Stripe, fell by 4.6% or 5,900 in the 12 months to January.

The sector has seen a series of lay-offs and restructurings around the world, with companies blaming excessive hiring during the pandemic, together with increasing inflation and interest rates, for the situation.

TikTok is the latest tech company to announce job cuts in Ireland, saying it could slash up to 300 roles as part of its global restructuring.

The social media firm has roughly 3,000 staff in Ireland, thanks to a hiring spree of 1,000 jobs that was announced in 2022.

The CSO data was contained in its monthly estimates of payroll employees, which utilise real-time Revenue data to detect trends in the labour market.

The job cuts in Ireland at the start of this year are mirroring the tech losses witnessed at the beginning of 2023.

Last week, Cisco announced plans to cut 5% of its global workforce – more than 4,000 jobs – raising concerns for the staff in its Dublin and Galway offices.

Other firms where Irish staff may be under threat include Riot Games, which employs hundreds of staff in Dublin, and digital printing company Xerox.

Since the start of the year, over 50,000 workers have been laid off globally from over 200 tech companies, according to tracking website Layoffs.fyi.

During 2023, more than 260,000 workers across nearly 1,200 tech companies lost their jobs.

Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft have all undergone downsizing this year, along with eBay, Unity Software, SAP and Cisco.

PayPal announced in January that it was eliminating 9% of its workforce, or about 2,500 jobs.

Away from the tech sector, the latest CSO payrolls data showed that seasonally adjusted employment in the country rose by 1.8% to 2.41million year-on-year in January, a period that corresponded with a gradual weakening in the global economy and a slowdown in Irish exports.

In the 12 months to January 2024, the transportation and storage sector saw the largest rise in the number of employees, with a 5.9% increase.

TikTok is the latest tech company to announce job cuts in Ireland. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The sector with the largest monthly rise in January 2024 was education (up 0.6%), followed by public administration and defence; compulsory social security, and human health and social work activities, both up 0.3%.

The largest monthly decrease was in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which was down by 1.7%.

The 20-to-24-year-old age group saw the largest rise in the monthly index to Janu – ary 2024 (up 1.1%).

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