The number of jobs supported by investments from Irish state agencies like IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Shannon Development and Udaras na Gaeltachta fell by 2.4pc (7,350) to 297,549 jobs in 2003. This is the fourth year in a row that there has been a decrease in full-time jobs in agency-supported companies.
According to the Annual Employment Survey by Forfas, there were 19,000 fewer permanent full-time jobs in agency-supported companies compared to the peak level of 316,533 jobs recorded in 2000. However, permanent employment is still 73,200 higher than it was in 1994.
All of the 7,350 net jobs lost in 2003 came from the manufacturing sector, whilst internationally traded services job numbers remained unchanged at 67,000 jobs.
There were 12,905 permanent full-time jobs created by Irish-owned manufacturing and internationally traded services companies, bringing permanent full-time job numbers in these Irish-owned companies to 147,895 jobs.
Amongst foreign-owned firms in manufacturing and internationally traded services some 9,864 new jobs were created, but were more than offset by job losses of 14,043 jobs resulting in a net decrease of 4,179 jobs. However, Forfas claims that fulltime employment in foreign-owned companies stands at 149,654 jobs, some 42,547 jobs higher than permanent full-time employment in 1994.
The Border, Midlands and West (BMW) region accounts for 20pc of all permanent full-time jobs, considerably less than the 27.7pc rate it had in 1994, despite efforts to push more jobs out to the regions.
By John Kennedy