IDA Ireland Skellig Michael
Skellig Michael and Little Skellig off the coast of Kerry. Image: Stefan Missing/Shutterstock

Almost 20,000 hired by FDI companies in Ireland in 2017, says IDA

4 Jan 2018

Over the course of 2017, FDI companies in Ireland created almost 20,000 jobs, with IDA Ireland confirming that it passed its five-year target.

IDA Ireland has announced its end-of-year (EOY) results for 2017 with news that it has surpassed its five-year target. This target was set in 2015 to have 209,000 people employed by foreign direct investment (FDI) companies, with the actual figure now standing at 210,443.

The figures revealed this morning (4 January) showed that IDA’s client employment grew by 5.7pc in 2017 against the national average of 2.3pc.

Over the course of the year, IDA said that 237 new investments were secured, with the number of first-time investments increasing to 111 from 99 on the previous year.

With a total FDI job creation of 19,851 positions, this marks the third consecutive year of growth, bolstered by the effects of Brexit encouraging UK-based companies to move here to maintain an office in the EU.

‘We take nothing for granted in foreign investment world’

Many of the biggest movers came from leading financial institutions, including JP Morgan, Bank of America and Barclays.

Speaking of the EOY report, IDA CEO Martin Shanahan said: “The 2017 figures are consistent with a pattern of extremely strong job creation among IDA client companies in recent years. 19,851 new jobs were created over the course of the year, resulting in 10,684 of a net gain in jobs for the year.

“To put this in context, less than 10 years ago, across 2008 and 2009, Ireland lost over 35,000 FDI jobs. This is a salutary reminder that we can take nothing for granted in the foreign investment world; all jobs must be fought for and won against increasing international competition.”

Among the largest single jobs announcements of the year were, which announced in February that it was to hire 500 staff at its Dublin office over the course of the next two years; as well as Northern Trust, which announced that it was to hire 400 staff at its Limerick office.

New office in Toronto

The IDA said that in 2018, it will be redoubling its efforts to attract UK-based firms to Ireland, while at the same time focusing on a diversification of its portfolio, particularly eastwards in China, India, South Korea, Singapore and Australia. There will also be an increase in activity in other market opportunities such as the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and South Africa.

“Our market diversification strategy is working, but it will take time,” Shanahan said.

“In 2017, 67pc of investment came from the US compared to 72pc in 2016. Europe accounted for 24pc in 2017, up from 20pc. Growth markets moved from 8pc in 2016 to 9pc in 2017.”

For 2018, the agency said it will focus on opportunities and challenges presented by artificial intelligence and robotics, something it stated in May of last year.

Listed among its changes structurally in 2018, the IDA said that it will be opening a new office in Toronto, Canada, as well as increasing its focus from three to four territories, the new one being the UK as a result of Brexit.

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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