Ireland needs to take in more immigrants to grow the economy, according to jobs website Indeed.
It comes after the unemployment rate fell to 4.2% – the lowest figure in 21 years.
The number of people without jobs has fallen by 36,000 in the past year and by 900 in the last month alone.
Indeed Economist Jack Kennedy told Newstalk that Ireland is one of the few European countries that is still attracting skilled workers.
“Ireland is actually one of only five European countries experiencing a brain-gain rather than a brain drain,” he said.
“That means more interest coming from foreign job seekers than outgoing interest from people looking abroad.
“Predominantly that is being seen in sectors like software development, IT, management and accounting. So more up there at the higher skill levels of the labour market.”
He said the economy could suffer if more immigrants are not enticed here.
“It could hold back the growth of certain sectors but at the same time, businesses would most likely be looking to fill skills gaps through domestic workers,” he said.
“They will probably need to be looking at options like enhancing training opportunities and helping to provide opportunities and support for people to upskill including members of their existing workforce.”
Indeed noted that Ireland’s attractiveness to immigrants is backed up by census data, which shows that an average of 32,000 new workers have arrived in Ireland every year since 2016.
It said many are drawn by employment opportunities in skilled areas.
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) now forecasts a fall in unemployment to 4% next year.
Indeed said employers’ hiring demands have eased slightly in recent weeks amid concerns about an economic slowdown; however, the number of jobs available on the website is now 60% higher than it was in February 2020.
The company said this is putting upward pressure on wages – especially with households concerned about a rise in inflation over the coming months.