Employment in Irish State agency-backed companies at highest-ever level

8 Aug 2018

Linesman statue in the Dublin financial district. Image: Andrei Nekrassov/Shutterstock

Take a bow Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Companies supported by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta reported full and part-time employment of 428,031 in 2017, their highest-ever level.

That’s according to new figures from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation which went on to reveal that this accounts for 29pc of total business employment in Ireland.

‘Nationally, we have seen unemployment fall from a high of 16pc in 2012 to 5.1pc today’

The department’s Annual Employment Survey 2017 also shows there was a 5.2pc increase in total employment in agency client companies since 2016, an increase of 21,165 jobs.

There were 223,148 people employed in foreign-owned companies and 204,883 in Irish-owned companies assisted by State agencies in 2017, according to the report.

Employment in foreign-owned firms increased by 5.3pc since 2016, with over 11,200 additional jobs.

In Irish-owned firms, employment increased by 5.1pc, with an increase of 9,907 jobs since 2016.

The net change in full-time employment in foreign-owned firms amounted to 10,739 jobs in 2017, which was lower than the peak over the decade of 13,420 jobs in 2016. Gross job gains at 19,445 were lower than the 2016 level of 20,984 and job losses, at 8,706, were slightly higher than in 2016.

In Irish-owned firms, the net job change in full-time employment, at 8,630, was lower than the 10-year peak of 9,932 jobs in 2015. Gross job gains of 14,518 were lower than the 2015 level of 17,463 jobs. Gross job losses of 5,888 in 2016 were the lowest over the 10-year period.

Tech accounts for a third of FDI employment in Ireland

By sector, among foreign-owned companies, the fastest-growing sectors were in internationally traded services. ICT services increased its share of full-time employment from 30pc to 36pc between 2008 and 2017, so that it now accounts for well over one-third of total foreign-owned employment in the country.

Business, financial and other services have grown employment from 12pc to 16pc. Food and drink employment dropped from 5pc to 3pc and the rest of the manufacturing sectors (excluding food, chemicals, medical devices, computer, electronic and optical equipment) fell from 16pc to 10pc.

Among Irish-owned firms, business, financial and other services increased their share of employment from 17pc to 20pc, and ICT services increased from 10pc to 14pc. Therefore, the services sectors have increased their share of employment to just over one-third.

Food increased its share from 23pc to 24pc, while the rest of the manufacturing sectors (excluding basic metals, construction, machinery and equipment and medical devices) decreased their share of employment from 29pc to 23pc.

The results were welcomed by Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

“The Government’s economic and enterprise policies are translating into job creation throughout the country.

“Nationally, we have seen unemployment fall from a high of 16pc in 2012 to 5.1pc today. There are now more people at work in Ireland than ever before, however, we can never become complacent. In this regard, I continue to work with my ministerial colleagues in partnership with our enterprise agencies to ensure that the hard-won job gains of recent years are sustained for the long term.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years