Childcare Provision

This quarter, Cork Chamber members expressed their views on the provision of childcare services in Cork and the impact childcare provision has on their employees. Almost one quarter of respondents (23%) cited that the availability and affordability of childcare provision is impacting staff, with another 23% of respondents acknowledging they are unaware if it is an issue. 54% believe that the availability and affordability of childcare is not impacting staff.

When asked about the workplace factors that childcare provision is impacting on, the top cited were; an increase in remote working requests and an increase in requests to move to part-time work.

Ec Trends q1 2024 childcare impacts
Ec Trends q1 2024 childcare - women
Ec Trends Childcare - govt intervention
Business Confidence

Companies’ confidence in their own business remains high at 93%.

Not Confident
Confidence in the Irish Economy

Confidence in the Irish economy has dipped compared to Q1 2023. 77% of business respondents expressed a positive outlook regarding the economic outlook compared to 85% this time last year.

Rising business costs (24%), housing supply (19%) and skills shortages (14%) were cited as the top reasons for lack of confidence in the economy.

Employment Data

While 43% of business respondents report plans to increase employee numbers over the next 12 months, there has been slight rise in those planning to decrease employee numbers (rising from 1% last quarter to 7% in Q1).

Ec Trends q1 2024 employment outlook

At the end of Q1, 49% of business respondents had vacancies advertised (41% in Q4). 42% of them were having difficulties in filling them (i.e. remaining unfilled for more than 3 months since initial advertisement) compared to 39% last quarter.

Ec Trends q1 2024 barriers to hiring
% Turnover and Net Profit

The number of companies reporting a decrease in turnover has risen to 16% compared to 12% in Q4 2023 and 9% in Q3. Despite this change only 10% expect further decreases in Q2 and 57% anticipate an increase in turnover.

Regarding net profits, the percentage of respondents reporting an increase has declined from 38% at the end of Q4 to 27% in Q1. 42% of respondents expect net profits to increase in Q2, while only 13% anticipate a decline.

Top 3 threats to business growth
Skills availability
Cost of energy and raw materials
house icon housing urban
Availability of housing/rental accommodation for employees
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