IDA Ireland this morning reported the highest level of job creation in more than a decade, with 13,367 jobs generated during 2013. Total employment in IDA companies is now at 161,112 people – the highest level in the agency’s history.
When losses are taken into account, the 13,367 jobs created in 2013 represent a net increase of 7,071 jobs.
During 2013, a total of 164 projects were won for Ireland. Of these, 78 came from companies investing in Ireland for the first time (a rise of 18pc on the previous year), with 59 expansions and 27 research, development and innovation (RD&I) projects.
Some of the leading investments secured during the year were from Deutsche Bank, Twitter, EMC, eBay, Salesforce, Novartis, Vistakon, Facebook, Zurich, Symantec, De Puy, Yahoo!, Sanofi and Indeed.com. First-time investments were secured from corporations across the portfolio, including from Qualcomm, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Regeneron, Huawei, FireEye, Grifols, Alexion and Acorn Direct Marketing.
There was also a strong presence of emerging fast-growth companies in the investment wins in 2013, including Squarespace, 10gen, Culture Translate, AdRoll, Storage Craft, Qualtrics, Zendesk, Quantcast and Etsy. The IDA set a goal in its Horizon 2020 strategy to attract these type of fast-growth companies.
There were job gains across all sectors IDA is focused on, but particularly in digital media/content, ICT, international financial services, life sciences and business services.
IDA’s fourth year of jobs growth
“This is IDA’s fourth consecutive year of job growth and it is very gratifying to see the cumulative increases over that period, which come to over 50,000 gross jobs,” said IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O'Leary, who also said he will be stepping down from the role to pursue other interests as soon as a successor is found.
“IDA is delivering on its plans, as publicly outlined in its strategy, and that delivery has taken place against a very challenging external environment. It was particularly pleasing to see such a high representation of European companies – Deutsche Bank, Sanofi, Zurich and Novartis – in the 2013 project wins.”
He added that Ireland enters 2014 in a far stronger position than in recent years and this will bolster the country’s brand image, spurring additional investment from investors.
“Only recently the IBM ‘Global Location Trends’ Report put Ireland first in the world for inward investment by quality and value, and first in Europe and second in the world for the number of investment jobs per capita. This is testament to how strong Ireland’s offering is.”
While there was significant debate at a global level about Ireland’s 12.5pc tax rate, IDA Ireland said changes to the tax rate were not up for discussion.
“Tax will remain a source of competitive advantage between competing FDI offerings. We believe there will be, over time, a stronger relationship between real economic substance and corporate tax regimes, which should ensure Ireland continues to win the maximum amount of international investments.”
The IDA said it is working with agencies like NAMA to ensure there is sufficient high-spec office space in the Dublin area for large-scale projects, many of them requiring 100,000 sq ft of space.
It said the scale of build involved and associated lead times will mean that construction of additional space needs to begin sooner rather than later.
The IDA’s Horizon’s 2020 plan targets 50pc of all investments to go to regions outside Dublin and Cork.
Admitting this to be a challenge, the IDA said the result for 2013 is below target at 30pc, but ahead of 2012 when it was 25pc.
High-quality investments were won in many regional locations. For example in Limerick, there were investments announced from Regeneron, Cook, Vistakon, ACI, Worldwide Technical Services and EtQ. In Cork, there were projects wins from Huawei, FireEye, EMC and Qualcomm, and in Waterford there were investments announced from Nypro and Sanofi.
There was also eBay and National Pen in Dundalk and Overstock in Sligo, amongst others.
IDA’s regional footprint will also be increasing in 2014, with the organisation now assuming responsibility for companies in the Shannon Free Zone, which now has about 55 companies with more than 5,000 employees.
The IDA has also revealed that it has established a cross-divisional group to identify new forms of foreign direct investment to ensure Ireland captures available opportunities in core sectors like ICT, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, financial services, engineering and clean tech.
Every 10 jobs in multinationals created 7 extra jobs in Irish economy
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said multinational companies have played a major role in the 3pc employment growth Ireland has seen across the economy in the past year.
“Every 10 jobs created in multinational companies lead to approximately seven jobs being created elsewhere in the economy in supply and service businesses. There are now two main challenges – to continue and accelerate the growth in multinational companies here, and to maximise the positive impact of these companies on the rest of the Irish economy.
“With hard work from my department and commitment across Government, we have protected the IDA in successive budgets. The joint IDA/Enterprise Ireland management team is working hard on providing increased opportunities for Irish companies from multinationals and Connect Ireland is providing ways of accessing new companies previously beyond the reach of IDA.
“I am determined that through strong implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs we can build on this stellar performance by multinational companies and ensure that they contribute even more to jobs growth across the economy,” Bruton said.