Economy jobs and the Irish Regions:
Three quarters of the new projects are located in the Greater Dublin Area - - an
Dr. Chris van Egeraat of
on Wednesday announced that 445 jobs will be created in 24
new high potential start-up companies which have been supported by government
through Enterprise Ireland in the second quarter of 2011. The announcement
follows on the 310 new jobs announced earlier this year as part of the first
quarter results of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Ups programme.
the companies involved operate in the sectors that the Government has identified
as part of the Smart Economy strategy, including biotechnology, life
sciences, ICT and financial services. This is good news for Ireland but from a
regional development perspective it is important to consider the extent to which
different regions benefit from these developments.
Interestingly today’s press release includes a breakdown of number of projects
and related jobs by location. Unfortunately, the information pertains to 16 of
the 24 investments only, and the press office was not in a position to provide
details of the other eight investments because of the commercially sensitive
nature. Charts 1 and 2 above present the geographical breakdown of projects and
related jobs. The charts distinguish between the Greater Dublin Area
(including Kildare and Wicklow), the rest of the South and East (S&E) Region and
the Border-Midlands-West (BMW) Region.
results are striking. Three quarters of the new projects are located in the
Greater Dublin Area and a further 12% in the rest of the S&E region. Only 12% of
the projects are located in the traditionally lagging BMW region. The results in
terms of jobs are similar with merely 12% of the jobs located in the BMW region.
presenting the data for the first quarter of 2011, suggests that this is not a
once-off result. In the first quarter the GDA accounted for nearly 70% of the
new projects, while the rest of the S&E region accounted for a further 16%. With
15% of the new projects, the BMW region again performed poorly. The press
release for the first quarter did not provide complete data for jobs.
these figures into perspective Figure 4 (below) presents the geography of employment in
all Irish-owned agency-assisted companies by regions in 2010 using figures from
the Forfas annual employment survey. Currently the Dublin region only accounts
for 31% of jobs in indigenous assisted companies with the rest of the SE
accounting for 41%. The BMW region still accounted for 28% of the jobs in 2010.
there are some limitations to the recent data on the geography of recent project
and job announcements, not at least the fact that we don’t have access to the
complete dataset. However, if the results do represent a real trend, this will
have important implications for the economic development potential of Irish
regions and raises questions about the role that different regions can play in
the Smart Economy as promoted by the Irish Government.
regional trends outlined above highlight the timeliness and relevance of the
upcoming Irish Regions in the Smart Economy Conference,organised
by the Regional Studies Association at NUI Maynooth. For further details: