Northern Ireland is the only sector in the UK to see a slide in the number of job opportunities in the last year, according to a survey by recruitment company Reed.
Its December 2013 Job Index, which tracks the number of new job opportunities on offer on its website, stood at 110 for Northern Ireland, down from 148 in the same month last year.
While a knock for the jobs market, the number of job opportunities here are still well up on December 2009 when the index first started.
And the survey bodes well for salaries, with Northern Ireland the only UK region to see a rise in Reed's salary index over the last 12 months to 96 from 92.
All other regions saw the salary index fall or hold steady while the overall UK index climbed by two points to 100, parity with December 2009.
That's good news for job seekers, according to chairman of reed.co.uk James Reed.
"After such a long period of salary stagnation, candidates will have a stronger negotiating position when it comes to pay, so employers will need to be prepared for a growing wage bill in 2014," he said.
Looking at the survey as a whole, Mr Reed said the past 12 months have been positive for the jobs market and bode well for the coming year.
"The signs indicate a strong 2014. Growth is likely to come from the industries that have shown the biggest increases in the last few months: construction and property; retail; manufacturing; automotive," he said.
For the UK as a whole, the Reed Job Index stood at 172, up from 138 last year with construction jobs climbing 74% and the motoring and manufacturing sectors showing an increase of 60% and 51% respectively, suggesting "the recovery will reach all parts of the economy in the coming year", according to Reed.
"What's more, fears of a London-based recovery will be lessened as a number of regions, including Scotland and the East Midlands, have outperformed the capital in terms of growth in new job opportunities," according to the survey.