ALMOST 700 jobs will be filled across the republic in the run-up to Christmas as Argos and a pet product maker begin hiring.
Retail giant Argos is looking for 670 seasonal workers for its 40 stores across the country over the coming months.
Another 425 jobs will be created in Northern Ireland.
Andy McClelland, national operations manager for Argos, said: "Christmas is our busiest period of the year so we always need extra help in our stores to ensure we can deliver great service to the hundreds of thousands of customers who shop with us at this time.
"Argos is a fast paced, exciting and interesting place to be during the festive season so we are looking for passionate and enthusiastic staff to join our teams."
Meanwhile, Radio Systems PetSafe Europe is to set up its European base in Dundalk, Co Louth, delivering 56 new jobs over the next three years.
Almost half of the posts will be filled by the end of December.
The new PetSafe head office will be operational from January and house a multilingual customer services centre, finance, order management, a supply chain and human resources department.
The organisation introduced the first do-it-yourself electronic fence to the pet market in 1991 and also manufactures pet toys and products including cat flaps and dog doors.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the investment, which was supported by IDA Ireland, was great news for the North East.
"A key part of the Government's plan for jobs and growth is deepening and developing the impact of multinational companies here, particularly in regional locations," said Mr Bruton.
Randy Boyd, founder and chief executive of PetSafe parent company Radio Systems Corporation, revealed he had ambitions for its Irish base.
"As our business continues to grow internationally, Radio Systems Corporation plans to make Ireland the centre of its European expansion, mirroring our structure in the USA," he added.
IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary said PetSafe's expansion into Ireland reflected a growing consumer cluster on the island.