The objective of this paper is to examine a variety of evidence on labour market tightening in Ireland. The paper was motivated by the need to bring together a variety of sources on how constrained the Irish labour market is becoming partly because of the mounting anecdotal evidence. The fact for example that firms and sectors (e.g. building and construction), are recruiting abroad indicates that the domestic supply of labour has become scarce. Furthermore recruitment fairs are being held in Europe and in North America in order to encourage people to migrate to Ireland so as to ease pressures on the labour supply front. The degree of tightness in the labour market is also highly visible in most urban areas, simply by the number of help wanted signs in shop windows, and by measures introduced by some large retailers to recruit older workers. The paper is structured as follows, section two reviews the performance of the labour market in recent years. Section three looks at the IBEC/ESRI monthly survey of industry, while section four examines other additional sources of information on a tightening labour market. Section five discusses the relationship between unemployment and vacancy rates and section six concludes.
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