There are many statistics that are used to judge the health of an economy. Gross domestic product – otherwise known as GDP – is the primary focus, with secondary concerns including inflation, the housing market, and unemployment.

What one hopes to see from these economic indicators varies between individual points. GDP, for example, should ideally be high. Unemployment, on the other hand, should be low.

The fact that low unemployment is a good thing is a long-established fact. Governments across the world will announce low unemployment with pride, and tout their success in this area whenever running for re-election. As a result, the public at large has also come to see low unemployment figures as a good thing.

The mindset that sees high unemployment as a positive is entirely understandable. After all, the more people that are in work, the better; people are drawing a wage and bolstering the economy as a result of subsequent spending. However, there is a hidden downside to a low unemployment rate.


The impact of low unemployment on businesses

If a business is looking to hire a new member of staff, they ideally want the largest pool of candidates to choose from. This is primarily a numbers game; the more people that apply, the higher the chances of finding the perfect person for the job.

Due to this, a high unemployment rate is beneficial to businesses. With more people out of work, their candidate pool is larger, and their chances of finding the right staff greatly increases as a result.

Conversely, a low unemployment rate can hamper a business’ ability to find staff. The pool of candidates to select from is smaller, which decreases the likelihood of finding high-quality, skilled individuals that are perfectly suited to an organisation. Having said this, this is where our skills at PRL Recruitment become an advantage for all our customers.


The business consequences of a low unemployment rate

It may initially seem that the impact of low unemployment is more of an inconvenience than an actual problem. However, this is not the case; the consequences of a low unemployment rate can actually be serious and far-reaching for businesses, leading to the development of genuinely concerning issues. For example:

  • Businesses can find themselves trapped in a continual recruitment cycle. They advertise a vacancy, go through the time-consuming process of interviewing candidates, but cannot issue a job offer due to the lack of suitable candidates. This recruitment cycle is expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating for business owners to experience.
  • The above issue can lead to a company being understaffed, which hugely impacts productivity and efficiency, while also placing an extra burden on existing staff members.
  • Some companies feel that they have to hire someone, often due to a desire to avoid the problems as described above. To account for this, they are more open to hiring candidates who are not necessarily well-suited to the job. Unfortunately, this tactic rarely produces favourable results.
  • Due to problems obtaining and maintaining adequate levels of well-qualified, highly-skilled staff, businesses are often forced to postpone plans regarding expansion or future development. Given that a low unemployment rate is generally considered a good sign for the overall economy, businesses can thus find themselves struggling to make the most of a period of strong growth and opportunity.

Given the very real problems that a low unemployment rate can cause, it is perhaps unsurprising that businesses rarely welcome this supposedly positive economic indicator.

Unfortunately, businesses in Ireland currently find themselves in the eye of this particular storm – as we will discuss in more depth below.


The current unemployment rate in Ireland

Above, we have outlined just how detrimental a high unemployment rate can be for businesses. Given these issues, many business owners are regarding recent developments in the Irish economy with a wary eye.

As a whole, the Irish economy is flourishing, which is usually thought to be good news for businesses. However, as is usually the case, one of the indicators of that flourishing economy is a low unemployment rate – and Ireland’s is particularly noteworthy at this point.

  • In October 2018, the Irish unemployment rate was just 5.3%.
  • This is a further fall from the 5.4% reported in September.
  • The current rate is three points below the Eurozone average of 8.1%.
  • Just 12 months ago, the unemployment rate was over a percentage point higher at 6.6%.

More worryingly still, the  Irish unemployment rate is expected to fall even further, with experts predicting a fall below 5% at some point in 2019. This is considered to be “full employment” in Ireland. If (or when) this happens, the unemployment issue will cause further disruption for Irish businesses seeking to find the staff they require.

However, it is still possible to find the right staff for your company, both now and in the future: you can work with PRL Recruitment.


The benefits of using PRL Recruitment

We at PRL Recruitment are recruitment specialists, with over 40 years of experience in sourcing the right staff for Irish businesses. Over our years of operation, we have carefully built and updated a database of screened candidates. We have also sought to ensure we are able to build a large network within sales, marketing and business development.

This database and established network allow us to offer a recruitment service that is truly proactive. The moment you ask PRL Recruitment to source staff for your company, we will immediately begin assessing the candidates we already have on file in the search for potential matches.

We are thus able to find the candidates Irish businesses need, in the shortest possible time frame. This ensures that even during times of low unemployment, we have immediate access to highly-qualified, skilled candidates, all of whom are sure to be an asset to any business. With our assistance, you can focus on enjoying all the benefits of a strong economy, without having to worry about the potential downsides.


Why not get in touch today?

To begin the process towards finding the right staff for your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with PRL Recruitment today. We look forward to providing the recruitment assistance your business requires in order to succeed.