Accountants and engineers can look forward to potential 10% pay rise in 2017

In other sectors, employers are aiming to improve their staff's work-life balance

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After widespread pay increases in 2016, this year it is Irish workers in "critical skills positions" that will be seeing the biggest boost to their earnings. 

People in IT, engineering, pharmaceuticals and accounting are in for a potential increase in the region of 5-10%, according to Morgan McKinley's latest salary guide. 

There will also be increases "in some instances" for people with digital marketing skills that have developed content in a business-to-business environment, Morgan McKinley's Trayc Keevans told Newstalk Breakfast.

Overall, however, salaries are set to stabilise. Keevans noted that most companies will be looking to tackle the reasons behind "high levels of attrition" in 2016 by other means.

This will include "looking at a more qualitative work-life balance policy" and offering more flexibility to employees.

"We've long been talking about the millennials wanting to have meaning and purpose," Keevans said, "but we're seeing also the approach of very strong corporate social responsibility programmes within organisations.

"Really looking to engage their employees in more than just increased salaries."

Morgan McKinley highlighted the average 20% gender pay gap rate they recorded a number of months ago in the guide, with Keevans believing that we will see "some addressing" of this disparity.

Germany, which has a pay gap comparable to Ireland's, introduced new laws this week that will allow staff in companies with more than 200 employees to see what men and women in equal roles earn. 

In terms of employment, job creation is expected to show continued growth. 

Keevans commented:

"There is undoubtedly continued challenges in finding and attracting and retaining talent. With the unemployment rate hitting the lowest its been in eight years at 7.2% and also IDA reporting the lowest net losses that they've had and record employment/jobs created, we're seeing a different appetite of employers in what they are looking for."