IDA Ireland has released its end-of-year report for 2016, and with it, the news that Ireland has just below 200,000 people employed by client overseas companies – the highest level on record.
IDA Ireland announced this morning (3 January) that the exact figure is 199,877 people, employed when 18,627 jobs were created by client companies across 2016 in a range of sectors.
Having completed two years of its five-year strategy, Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019, the governmental agency is particularly optimistic about the chances of achieving its 2019 target of 80,000 new jobs and 900 investments.
Record number of investments
Also in 2016, IDA companies achieved a record number of investments secured during the year, rising to 244 from 213 in the previous year.
Meanwhile, the number of new-name investments rose from 94 to 99 on the previous year.
Attributing a reason to the net job creation of 11,842 additional roles in Ireland, the IDA said there was a very strong pipeline of new investments, with lower job losses within the employment portfolio.
Dublin remains the epicentre
Over the course of the whole year in Ireland, 20,160 sci-tech jobs were created across all companies. Some of the largest within IDA’s clients included Oracle, which announced plans to recruit 450 people in January 2016.
Also, the plan to create 300 jobs at a new First Data R&D hub was seen as a boon to the town of Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
This would follow the finding that in 2016, 63pc of capital investment was outside of Dublin. However, Dublin and the mid-west remains the area with most deployment, with just over 95,000 employed by IDA clients there.
Challenges in 2017
The area with the least employment and growth was seen in the midlands, where only 58 jobs were added in 2016, at very small growth rate of 1pc.
In terms of economic impacts, IDA client companies spend €18.7bn in the Irish economy annually, but IDA Ireland’s CEO Martin Shanahan warned of a tough year ahead in 2017.
“Ongoing global political and economic uncertainty will continue to affect investor confidence in 2017,” he said.
“Competition from other jurisdictions for foreign investment has never been as strong. A continuation of pro-enterprise policies is a prerequisite to continue to win investments.”
However, he added that “while there is significant uncertainty, the jobs pipeline for the first quarter of 2017 looks promising”.
Shanahan continued: “In 2016, job losses within IDA client companies were at their lowest level since 1997. Given market turmoil, Brexit impacts and cost competitiveness pressure, IDA does not expect this trend to continue.”
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