Food trade shows ‘resilience in the face of Covid’ as job prospects remain

Food production and trade is showing “resilience in the face of Covid-19” as job prospects in the sector fell by only 7% during the pandemic.

According to the latest jobs index, the internationally traded sector including food was the third largest sector in terms of proportion of vacancies generated in June 2020.

From the period of March to June, “food, science and pharmaceutical trade and production” saw one of the lowest decreases in job vacancies, a decline of 7%.

Despite this strong continuation of job vacancies during the pandemic, from May to June when vacancies in many sectors increased, there was a decline of 6% in vacancies in food, science and pharmaceutical sectors.

According to the report, the “performance of the food sector in particular illustrates the resilience of the internationally traded goods and services segment of the Irish economy”.

Environmental jobs were badly hit, with job postings in the sector declining by 44% from February to June of this year. However, from May to June, this increased by 18%.

‘Resilience of internationally traded sectors offers reassurance’

According to the report: “While a June upturn is evident, it remains to be seen how quickly sectors can return to pre-Covid-19 vacancy generation rates.

“Of 31 industry sectors analysed, 26 have experienced an increase in vacancies in June.

While some instances of vacancy generation take the form of a ‘rebound’ subsequent to the easing of restrictions, a number of sectors have managed to weather the worst effects of the recent Covid restrictions.

“While the resilience of internationally traded segments of the Irish economy like food offers some reassurance, the ongoing negative impact of restrictions on travel serves as a reminder that the economy remains exposed to any future Covid-19 spikes that may emerge in domestic and international settings.”

If there are jobs, there is work to be done…

While jobs were still on offer, the work was still continuing. AgriLand reported yesterday, Thursday, July 16, that the agriculture sector, being an essential service, saw one of the smallest declines in commercial energy consumption during the pandemic compared to other sectors.