The Bank of Ireland Business Banking's job index is supposedly Ireland's benchmark for job creation, however this completely spurious index totally ignores some of the most obvious inaccuracies in the job advertising market.
Myth 1: Job advertisements reflect the real level of jobs being advertised.
A large number of companies now use employment agencies to fill their positions, but desperate companies often don't use just one, but anything up to 4 or 5, and sometimes more agencies to fill their jobs. For example 4 years ago one large Dublin based computer manufacturer used agencies so heavily to fill positions in its call centre, that almost every single agency who handled this kind of vacancy hired for the company. As a result, the same job was being advertised, not just once, but up to 40 or 50 times. Likewise a call centre in Cork currently uses agencies to hire - not only are the jobs advertised by multiple agencies, they repeatedly advertise the same jobs. This means that a single position may be advertised anything up to 80 times - which means that 79 of the job advertisements are readvertisements.
Myth 2: Job advertisements advertise real jobs
A common practice in the UK by agencies is to advertise non-existent or filled jobs in order to attract cvs. Technically the practice is illegal, but there is no way for a potential applicant to determine if the job exists or EVER existed!
Myth 3: Most jobs are never advertised
Quite the contrary, most companies now use advertising or agencies to fill jobs that cannot be filled internally. This myth is based on the myth that companies are willing to explore candidates outside specific profiles: they are not.
Myth 4: Networking will get you a job
WRONG. I work for a large services company that recently shed its IT divison, which merged with a large IT provider to become one of the biggest IT providers in Europe. I'm the UK change manager for internal IT, so I am on a few of the mailing lists (even though by a stroke of rotten luck, the services company decided to keep my piece and we're losing the contract). A person who sent his cv on the off chance to a former friend in my company had his attempt publicly dissected and humiliated over the company mailing list. His cv and cover letter was considered to be SPAM! Sure, networking helps, but it must be carefully used. People who you never called when out of work won't be too happy to be your new buddy now that you need them.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that in some sectors, salaries have practically collapsed. For example, I easily got a role as a helpdesk analyst with less than 18 months experience for 23k p.a. That sort of work simply no longer exists in Cork, and is extremely difficult to find in Dublin at that salary level. Most of that kind of work is now paying as little as 18k p.a. and sometimes less. Apparently the situation for developers is almost as bad.