Multinationals cut Irish jobs for first time in decade amid tech slowdown

State inward investment agency says it accounted for 11.3% of national employment this year

IDA job cuts results: Multinationals cut 17,857 jobs against the backdrop of a downturn in the global tech sector as firms like Meta and Amazon trimmed their Irish headcount and pared back hiring. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

The number of people employed at IDA Ireland client companies in the Republic fell for the first time in at least 10 years, amid cuts across the tech sector and a general slowdown in the world economy.

Client firms added 16,843 new jobs over the course of 2023, down 48 per cent from a year earlier, according to the State inward investment agency’s annual results published on Friday. At the same time, multinationals cut 17,857 jobs against the backdrop of a downturn in the global tech sector as firms such as Meta and Amazon trimmed their Irish headcount and pared back hiring. Overall, IDA client companies employed 1,014 fewer people than a year ago.

At the launch of the results in Dublin, Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney said the figures show Ireland remains “resilient” despite “huge global challenges”.

IDA Ireland said it now has more than 1,800 client companies within its portfolio, employing 300,583 people across the State, representing 11.3 per cent of overall employment, down 0.3 percentage points from last year. The drop-off is the first such decline in a decade, IDA Ireland confirmed although it is second year in a row in which the agency reached 300,000 job benchmark.


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The agency said it won some 248 investments into the State from abroad this year, potentially adding 19,000 jobs to the economy as the net number of jobs created by multinationals fell slightly from last year.

IDA Ireland said one third of the investments, or 83, were either greenfield or first-time investments with the remainder coming from businesses already operating in the Republic.

Michael Lohan, who replaced Martin Shanahan as IDA Ireland chief executive earlier this year, said: “As we move into 2024, it is important to recognise that we continue to face domestic as well as global challenges. It’s acknowledged that Ireland’s carrying capacity and infrastructural development, particularly in housing and energy supply, needs to be accelerated.”

Against this backdrop, he said the inward investment agency will develop a new multiyear strategy to underpin the State’s “FDI offering”.

The largest single investment in 2023 was Analog Devices’s commitment to building a new 45,000sq ft (4,180sq m) research, development, and manufacturing facility in Raheen, Co Limerick. The US semiconductor company plans to invest €630 million in the expansion, which will triple the group’s European capacity for wafer production capacity – thin slices of semiconductor material used in manufacturing integrated circuits – adding around 600 jobs.

Large-scale investments were also announced this year by Eli Lilly, which will pump €467 million into its new biologics manufacturing facility in Limerick, and US telecoms Verizon, which announced earlier this week that it will establish a new global centre of excellence in Limerick city.

Other investments announced in 2023 include medical device-maker Dexcom’s plans to build a new €300 million facility in Athenry, Co Galway and Boston Scientific’s €80 million expansion of its Clonmel, Co Tipperary facility.

IDA Ireland said Friday’s results reflect its commitment to “balanced regional development”. Some 132 investments were secured across regional locations this year, it said, accounting for 54 per cent of the total with the midlands seeing the strong levels of growth.

Mr Lohan said: “With 248 investments won by IDA Ireland this year, the strength of today’s results speaks to the continued attractiveness of Ireland as a location for FDI. The results also reflect an enduring commitment amongst FDI (foreign direct investment) companies, supported by IDA Ireland, who continue to show confidence in Ireland as a location in which to make complex, innovative, and impactful investments at scale.”

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times