Private sector employment sits 6% above its pre-downturn peak

Over a quarter of a million searches for part time roles in last 12 months

Jobs in Construction up with Quantity surveyor and Site Managers most in demand

Jobs 1.4 % higher than one year ago

Private sector jobs in Northern Ireland have hit an all-time high according to official figures and local leading online recruiter supports this further with its latest jobs report. It reveals today that the majority of job categories on experienced a growth in vacancies in the second quarter of this year.

The Jobs Report with Ulster Bank sees’s job data analysed and interpreted by Ulster Bank’s Chief Economist Richard Ramsey and is a timely indicator offering important insight at a local level about the types of jobs people are looking for and also the roles companies are keen to recruit.

NI started 2017 on a high with official figures indicating a record number of private sector jobs which was reflected in the NIJobs survey for that period (Q1). Despite a fall in the second quarter the NIJobs report signals that the labour market remains buoyant with the majority of sectors posting growth in vacancies between April and June (Q2) this year.

Sam McIlveen, General Manager of says; “The figures for private sector at an all-time high are particularly interesting, sitting at 6% above its pre-downturn peak of 2008.

“Our Q2 figures support this, indicating that the majority of categories are recording growth and job vacancies are in fact 1.4% higher than a year ago.

“The five top performing categories in the second quarter of 2017 were IT, Hospitality, Engineering, Sales and Nursing, Healthcare and Medical – they account for 40% of all roles available.

“We are also seeing jobs in the Construction sector continue to rise with the number of jobs advertised up almost 6% in April, May and June and 12% year -on -year with Quantity Surveyors, Site Managers, Project Managers and Civil Engineers most in demand.

“It is very encouraging to see growth in the private sector, no doubt partly due to the important role that Invest NI and others play in funding and investing in start-ups here. We have noticed a steady growth in private sector recruitment online and now work with over 1200 companies across 30 different areas of business.”

The report compiles its data from a detailed analysis of online recruitment trends with clients. Many recognised companies have had strong recruitment drives in Q2 including; Moy Park, Terex, Almac, Dunbia, CDE Global, Citi, PwC, EY, Capita and Concentrix .

Another interesting trend is the demand for part time jobs, with well over a quarter of a million searches recorded by people looking for part time positions in the last 12 months.

Ulster Bank’s Chief Economist Richard Ramsey observes; “Official statistics reveal that more people in the UK wanted to work fewer hours and receive less pay than those who wanted to do the opposite. A shorter working week / part-time employment is certainly popular with job seekers on the site. With pay rises in many sectors not keeping up with inflation, more people will place a higher value on their own leisure time.”

Overall Ramsey believes that the Northern Ireland jobs market remains buoyant and has also highlighted areas to watch in the coming quarters;

“The data does indicate a fall in some job listings for the quarter, which isn’t uncommon due to temporary or seasonal staff ramp ups for the summer period. But, there are also bigger contributing factors to support the latest statistics.

“The return of inflation has brought with it another squeeze on living standards. As far as consumer spending is concerned high rates of inflation is public enemy number one.

“Consumer sectors such as Retail and Hospitality will be sensitive to the changes on this front. We have seen some signs of this with Hospitality and Retailing, Wholesaling and Purchasing posting year –on- year declines of 16% and 23% respectively. That said, this follows a very strong 2016 and demand remains buoyant.

“Retail and Hospitality are areas to watch in the coming quarters. The extent, to which this weakness from the domestic market will be counter-balanced by Northern Ireland’s booming tourism sector, remains to be seen.”

On the new Jobs Report with Ulster Bank, Sam McIlveen General Manager of comments; “We are delighted to have an economist of Richard’s calibre analysing our data. We look forward to sharing our joint insights into the Northern Ireland job market on a quarterly basis. With Brexit underway it’s more important than ever that we provide jobseekers and companies with an accurate reflection of what is happening in recruitment across NI.”

Top 5 Hiring Job Categories in Q2 2017

Nursing, Healthcare & Medical


To view current job opportunities visit . Read the full analysis of the Report with Ulster bank here;