DUBLIN, Ireland: Paschal Donohoe, Ireland's Minister for Finance, has reported that economic forecasts predict that the country will not return to pre-pandemic levels of employment and broader economic performance until 2023.
At the same time, Donohoe praised the significant progress made in the nation's economy and public health spheres since March, 2020 when the pandemic first struck.
"Not only am I confident that we will deliver those targets in 2023, I am increasingly hopeful that as we move into the rest of this year, and indeed into 2022, for many really important economic indicators that matter so much to our society, I'm increasingly confident that we are going to make even quicker progress towards delivering those targets," he said, as quoted by RTE.
Donohoe made his comments while speaking at a Scale Ireland event.
Donohoe said he remains optimistic, based upon the success of the Covid-19 vaccination, along with the strength of economic support that protected many parts of the economy from the worst economic effects of the pandemic.
"All of those things coming together are leading to an increasing improvement in sentiment regarding our future from an investor point of view and from an employer point of view," he said.
Donohoe went on to say that both Ireland's economic prospects and performance are far more positive than he would have hoped would be possible just over a year ago.
Also speaking was John Purdy, the co-founder and CEO of Ergo, who said hiring qualified staff remains among the most significant challenges facing businesses in Ireland.
"We are all fighting for the same talent pools and we have got to figure out how we can expand that talent pool," he said.
"As we all fight for the same talent, the cost of talent rises. The cost of talent rises because the availability of housing is, particularly rental properties, is becoming non-affordable for employees."