Thousands of Irish computer programmers are struggling to make ends meet in the global economy amid an economic downturn, a report has revealed.
The IT industry in Ireland has been hit hard by the global recession, with the number of Irish IT jobs down by 10 per cent in the past year and a half.
The IT industry has seen a 12 per cent fall in the number the country has to offer over the past five years.
In a report released this week, the IT industry body EIS Ireland said that the number IT jobs was down by a total of 940,000 between April and December 2016, with an overall reduction of 17 per cent.
It said that in the last year, an estimated 569,000 jobs were lost, with only a further 2,000 new positions created in the IT sector.
“This means that while Ireland is home to the second-largest number of IT workers in the EU, only the UK had a larger number of jobs lost,” the report said.
The EIS report also found that a total 6,766 jobs were created in computer programming, a sector that was down from a peak of 6,837 in the mid-1990s.
The report noted that Irish employers have traditionally had a difficult time recruiting talented candidates, with companies reporting that they are reluctant to hire foreign talent.
In 2015, the number for computer programming was down 7.8 per cent from the year before, and by a factor of five from a year earlier.
The Irish IT sector had a net loss of 621,000 job equivalents, with a net gain of 9,737 jobs.
The number of people working in the software and services sector also declined by 5.9 per cent between April 2017 and December 2017.
The unemployment rate in Ireland is now 8.1 per cent, and is now above the European average of 7.6 per cent (6.2 per cent lower than in the UK), according to the latest official statistics.
The study also found a sharp drop in the proportion of people aged 15-24 years who were employed in the Irish IT industry.
This figure was down to 1.8 million, down from 1.9 million a year ago, with 1.4 million of this group now unemployed.