IDA Ireland, the leading Irish inward investment promotion agency, said today that client firms added 15,012 new jobs during 2014. When job losses are taken into account, the net increase in employment was 7,131, one of the highest net levels of job creation in a decade. However, both full-time and total jobs in exporting FDI (foreign direct investment) firms in 2014 remained below the level in 2000 despite a 22% rise in the workforce (including the unemployed).
Besides IDA Ireland, until recently Shannon Development and Údarás na Gaeltachta were State agencies that were responsible for both foreign and indigenous exporting firms and last year IDA Ireland assumed responsibility for Shannon Development's client firms.
Údarás na Gaeltachta has client firms that had a total employment of 6,969 at end 2013 - so jobs added or lost in 2014 would not be material to the argument here.
IDA Ireland said today that there were 197 investments in 2014, equating to a 20% increase on 2013. There was a notable rise in new name investment, with 88 new name investors in 2014, equating to a 13% increase on 2013.
Among the leading investments secured during the year were Amazon, Bristol Myers Squibb, Fidelity, LinkedIn, Survey Monkey, Airbnb, PayPal, Ericsson, SAP, Johnson & Johnson, West Pharmaceuticals, Zendesk, Adroll and New Relic.
IDA estimates that for every 10 jobs generated by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), another seven are generated in the wider economy. A particularly strong economic contribution is generated from FDI investments for the property and construction sectors, which have faced unprecedented challenges over recent years.
It is estimated that approximately 10,000 people are currently employed on construction projects underway with IDA client companies, providing a considerable economic boost to the sector and the wider economy.
In response to political pressure for a greater number of IDA supported projects to go to regions outside Dublin and Cork, Martin Shanahan, the agency's chief executive, said today that a new five-year strategy that will be published in coming weeks will pay “significant attention” to encouraging multinationals to invest outside the main cities of Dublin and Cork.
He said that the Horizon 2020 five-year strategy which expired in December, had targeted 50% of new investments in regional areas and of the 770 investments by IDA client companies over the five years, just over 30% were made outside the main cities. “It was an ambitious target, but we are trying to buck the trend,” said Shanahan.
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