IDA reports record level of multinational jobs in Ireland in 2021

20 Dec 2021

IDA’s Martin Shanahan and Minister Leo Varadkar. Image: Maxwell Photography

IDA’s Martin Shanahan said the new FDI inflows are a result of the agency’s focus on the tech, pharma, medtech and engineering sectors.

More people are employed in the multinational sector than ever before as an IDA Ireland report has highlighted the greatest increase in FDI employment in a single year.

There are now more than 275,000 people working for multinationals in Ireland. This in an increase of almost 17,000 over 2020 figures and the highest it has ever been.

This comes just days after the Central Statistics Office found that FDI increased by €71bn in Ireland in 2020, despite the pandemic. The increased inflow was largely sourced from the US and offshore centres, with the services and manufacturing sectors benefiting the most.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA, said FDI in Ireland has come through the pandemic “relatively unscathed” because of the agency’s focus over the past decade on technology, pharma, medtech, engineering, financial services and food.

IDA recorded 249 investments in Ireland in 2021, of which 104 were from new companies. It said that 16,826 net new jobs were added in the multinational sector this year.

FDI inflows were also relatively evenly spread across Ireland, with 133 of the 249 investments (53pc) going to locations outside Dublin, bolstered by IDA Ireland’s property programme which ensures the supply of land, buildings and infrastructure in regional locations.

Big jobs announcements in 2021 came from multinationals including Stripe in Dublin, Intel in Kildare, State Street in Kilkenny and Poly in Galway.

FDI ‘crucial’ to recovery

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said that the regional share of total investments is the largest number ever and the highest percentage since 2009.

“The success of our multinational sector has allowed us sustain other areas of our economy that are struggling. FDI is central to our economic policy, and it will continue to be a crucial part of our plan to rebuild after Covid,” he said.

Varadkar noted at the launch of the report today (20 December) that this year’s IDA results also show a strong performance in sustainability, with “a mix of carbon reduction projects and new investors building Ireland’s green economy capability”.

A quarter of IDA client companies now measure their CO2 emissions from operations in Ireland, while 31pc have also developed climate action plans prioritising emissions reduction, renewable energy and the circular economy.

These results are a strong start for the Government agency’s new strategy for the years 2021 to 2024, aimed at driving recovery from the pandemic and sustainable growth through FDI in the Irish economy.

Shanahan said that IDA is aware of the ongoing spread of Covid-19 variants and the varying level of vaccinations rates around the world. He warned that these issues, coupled with inflationary pressures and global supply chain issues, could impact investors’ decision making.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic