Sunday 21 July 2019

Job numbers at multinationals in Ireland reach a record high of 200,000

IDA chief Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
IDA chief Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren

Colm Kelpie

Total employment at international companies in Ireland now stands at just shy of 200,000 - the highest on record.

IDA-backed firms created just under 19,000 jobs here last year, according to end-of-year results from the agency.

The number of net new jobs totalled 11,842, with job losses at multinationals here at their lowest since 1997, the IDA said. Multinational companies here now employ 199,877.

More than half of the jobs created last year were outside of Dublin, although the regional successes differ considerably.

  • The midlands recorded just 58 new IDA-backed jobs - a 1pc increase - to bring multinational employment in the region to 4,280.
  • The border region, by contrast, enjoyed a 5pc increase, with an extra 559 jobs. Total IDA-backed employment there now stands at 10,868.
  • The mid-west enjoyed the largest percentage increase in jobs last year, at 10pc, to 17,143.
  • Other regions also saw an increase, including Dublin and mid-east, which saw a 6pc hike in the number of jobs to 95,054.
  • The south-west had an increase of 5pc to 36,059.
  • The west jumped 8pc to 22,070 jobs.
  • Meanwhile, the south-east rose 4pc to 14,403, with the midlands up 1pc to 4,280.

The agency also reiterated that it had experienced a "significant volume of specific queries" to IDA offices from across the world as a result of the Brexit vote.

Martin Shanahan, IDA ceo, said the queries were not exclusively from financial services, but also from technology and pharmaceutical companies.

He said a lot of the queries were progressing to site visits and that he expected companies to make decisions by June. But Mr Shanahan also warned that IDA-backed firms here which service the UK market - around 350 - could face difficulties in the event of a hard Brexit, signalling some may transfer operations, depending on their exposure to the British market.

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Around 100 of them are thought to be very heavily exposed to the UK.

The IDA's annual results showed that a record number of investments were secured from international companies in the last year - 244 versus 213 in 2015.

The majority came from the US at 176, followed by 49 from Europe and 19 from growth markets including India and Japan. The number of new-name investments went to 99 from 94 the previous year.

Mr Shanahan warned against getting too excited about the record-breaking figures.

"We absolutely cannot be complacent about this success - we have to keep an eye on our competitiveness, including costs," he said.

Mr Shanahan said that regions which were less densely populated and which did not have significant urban centres would remain a challenge for the IDA.

The IDA boss also said that it was too early to say what impact the election of Donald Trump will have.

But amid bellicose campaign rhetoric from the billionaire that he would bring home US jobs, Mr Shanahan said he believed US companies would continue to have an international presence because of the required access to market.

Meanwhile, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce yesterday announced a new service to help more Irish and UK businesses trade together. 'BIG: The British Irish Gateway for Trade' is an initiative that links members of business organisations.

Irish Independent

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