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Employment in multinationals reaches a record high

The number of people employed in multinationals has reached a record high of over 210,000, the IDA has said.

The figure for 2017 surpasses the overall five-year target of 209,000, which was set in 2015 as part of the agency’s strategy out to 2019. The number of new investments totalled 237.

Some 19,851 new jobs were created over last year, the IDA said, resulting in a net job gain of 10,684. The net gain was smaller than both last year’s and 2015’s figures, as losses, at 9,167, were up on both years.

The IDA said job losses in 2016 were at “remarkably low levels” as a percentage of the overall employment in FDI. Martin Shanahan, IDA chief executive, said the losses in 2017 are concentrated to a small number of companies. The only sector which has seen employment fall is in computers and electronics, down 1.2pc.

“What’s driving that is the transitioning out of traditional computer hardware,” Mr Shanahan said.

He said the most obvious example of that was HP. Last February the tech giant announced that “close to 500 employees” will be losing their job at the Kildare plant.

Overall, Mr Shanahan said the 2017 figures are consistent with a pattern of “extremely strong job creation” amongst IDA client companies in recent years.

“To put [the jobs figure ] in context, less than ten years ago, across 2008 and 2009, Ireland lost over 35,000 FDI jobs. This is a salutary reminder that we can take nothing for granted in the foreign investment world. All jobs must be fought for and won against increasing international competition.”

It comes just days after Enterprise Ireland announced that 209,338 people are now employed by Enterprise Ireland backed companies. This is the highest total employment achieved in the history of the agency, and represented a net increase of 10,309 jobs for 2017, when jobs losses are accounted for.

Mr Shanahan also announced that the IDA was reorganising its global footprint, including treating the UK as a separate market due to Brexit. The IDA’s continental European activity will now be managed out of Frankfurt, rather than London. The agency is also planning a new office in Toronto, while there will also be a focus on the UAE, Turkey and South Africa.

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