PayPal jobs welcomed in town where 18% out of work

Wed, Feb 22, 2012, 00:00

THE DECISION by PayPal to locate in Dundalk was greeted with near jubilance in the northeast yesterday.

The town has an unemployment rate of 18 per cent and many of those seeking work are skilled and recently lost their jobs.

The president of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, Paddy Malone, said the investment would benefit more than just the 1,000 people who would be directly employed by PayPal.

“It will have a knock-on effect. There will be more money spent in the town and it is really the multiplier effect that makes this so significant.”

“If you have 1,000 jobs coming into Dundalk that translates into close to another 3,000 spin-off jobs,” he said.

The town has been let down in the past with promises of jobs that either did not materialise or the company involved closed down after a number of years.

“PayPal is a new company in a strong industry that is growing. It is a major expansion by a world player that is in it for the long haul. This is a completely different situation,”  he added.

Graduates from Dundalk Institute of Technology are among those expected to be applying for the PayPal jobs.

Andrew Griffith, chairman of Dundalk IT’s governing body, said: “We understand Dundalk won this inward investment in the face of stiff competition from other Irish and, particularly, overseas locations. That is a tribute to the work that has been done by a wide group of stakeholders to promote the town and Co Louth more widely in recent years and Dundalk IT is pleased to contribute to that.”

The news was welcomed by Louth Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd who is also the junior minister with responsibility for NewEra, a job creation department.

“It is fantastic news. It’s a great vote of confidence in our country, our workforce and our future,” he said.

The Louth county manager Conn Murray said the county “fights above its weight in terms of people collaborating to get good results”. “Given the national and international economic climate, it is essential that we play to our strengths and fight for every scrap of investment and job creation we can in Louth,” he added.

The announcement was welcomed on the campus of Dundalk IT where students’ union president James Clarke said: “A lot of people in class today were talking about it.  Some of them had been made redundant by other companies in the town and it is a welcome change to what has been happening in recent years.”

Second-year student in business and event management Darren Watters said he would be applying for work with PayPal. “The town was on its last legs and this is a big boost.  It has given people something to smile about today,” he said.