Almost two thirds of US companies operating in Ireland expect to increase their staff numbers here over the next year, even as the wider economy shows signs of slowing.
About 64 per cent of firms expect to raise their headcount, according to a report from the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland (AmCham). Some 31 per cent of those surveyed expect their staff numbers to be unchanged, while just 5 per cent of companies anticipate their numbers to decrease.
The results from the latest AmCham FDI Insights Survey are likely to be seen as positive, after a wave of lay-offs in recent months, especially in the tech sector. There, a slew of US firms have slashed headcount worldwide, including in their Irish operation. IDA Ireland interim head Mary Buckley has warned of a “challenging year” in terms of attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland.
American companies are a key drive of the economy here. They directly employ about 209,000 people in Ireland, and support another 167,000 indirect jobs, according to AmCham.
“US companies will continue to play a critical role in Ireland’s business ecosystem and our continued development as a climate-friendly and sustainable business environment,” Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney said in a statement.
Even with the recent round of cuts at the likes of Meta, Google and Microsoft, more than three quarters of firms surveyed said headcount had increased in the past year. Still, 69 per cent of respondents are seeing a skills gap in Ireland, implying difficulties hiring people with desired skills in engineering, digital & data, as well as machine learning and AI. The housing crisis remains the most important challenge for Ireland to overcome in order for their company to expand in Ireland, the chamber added.