IDA reports gain of 6,570 jobs
A net gain of 6,570 jobs was recorded in the foreign direct investment sector last year, the IDA has said.
A total of 12,722 jobs were filled by companies investing in the State, but 6,152 workers were let go by IDA supported companies in the same period.
Some 145 firms - among them Apple, EA Games, Allergan and SAP - announced investments in the State last year, which the IDA described as its best in terms of job creation for a decade.
The total number of people employed in multi-national firms increased to 152,785 at the end of last year. The total has almost recovered to the pre-financial crisis level of some 156,000, having fallen below 140,000 in 2009.
Minister for Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton said the IDA had put in an “exceptionally strong” performance last year and was exceeding the targets set out in the Government’s action plan for jobs.
He said the level of investment by ICT firms stood out within the results and that the Government was committed to investing in education to improve the capabilities of graduates and workers to meet the needs of such companies.
“These investments are a superb vote of confidence in the Irish economy and the Irish people,” Mr Bruton said. “The challenge now is both to grow our level of foreign investments here and also to maximise the positive impact of those companies for the wider Irish economy.”
IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary said attributed the improved figures to the organisation taking a targeted approach to attract companies in five key areas - IT, social and digital media, international financial services, pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacture.
Mr O’Leary said the outlook for the EU investment market this year was flat and that competition was fierce from markets such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.
However, he said he was hopeful a similar net jobs gain could be recorded in 2013 and that the IDA would continue to exceed the targets set out in the Government’s action plan for jobs.
“There are definite opportunities for growth in the IT and technology sector, in specific areas of financial services, in life sciences, in social and digital media and in sectors where consolidation is taking place on a pa-European basis,” he said.
Exports among IDA client companies increased by 7.5 per cent in 2011 to €122 billion (some 73 per cent of total exports) and payroll at these companies was some €7.3 billion for the year, up from €6.9 billion in 2010.