Dublin’s economy booms as employment reaches record levels

Growth in rents and house prices shows some signs of tailing off

The 17th edition of the Dublin Economic Monitor showed unemployment was at 4.9%, its lowest rate since the the fourth quarter of 2007

Dublin’s economy is booming, according to a new survey, with employment at record levels in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The 17th edition of the Dublin Economic Monitor showed unemployment was at 4.9 per cent, its lowest rate since the the fourth quarter of 2007, with more than 700,000 people in work. A total of 25,000 people were added to the labour force in 2018.

There was some limited relief for renters and potential house-buyers in the area too. Growth in rent and property prices is beginning to decline, with average residential rents at €1,650. Property prices fell for the fourth month in a row in February 2019, the longest period of decline in seven years. The final quarter of 2018 also saw housing completions near 2,000.

"While the continued strong performance of the Dublin economy, particularly in terms of job-creation, is to be welcomed, this success will present a range of new challenges," said Steven O'Gara, senior economic development officer at Dublin City Council.


“Our ability to attract and retain the world-class talent that we need to propel key sectors forward will put a significant additional strain on the region’s transport and housing infrastructure. We must be prepared to meet the challenges head on, and provide sustainable solutions.”

The report is compiled by EY-DKM Economic Advisory on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities.

“Following what appeared to be the first signs of stabilisation in the Dublin economy at the end of 2018, data now suggests that many of the key performance indicators are continuing on an upward trajectory,” said Ciara Morley, economist at EY-DKM Economic Advisory.


“Housing is one of the key exceptions, with residential rents, and in particular house prices, showing signs of a slowdown. This is a very welcome move in the data considering the long-standing issues in the housing market. Improvements on the supply side of the market should continue to feed into this trend over the coming quarters.”

The city was also given a boost by being ranked third in the inaugural FDI Smart Locations of the Future 2019/20. The Smart Docklands project, a joint initiative of Dublin City Council and Trinity College’s Connect Centre that creates a testbed for future innovation and technologies, was given a major endorsement and came first in the FDI Strategy category.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist