Irish multinational jobs growth soars, outlook ‘strong’

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DUBLIN, (Reuters) – Jobs growth among multinationals in Ireland soared to record levels in the first half of 2022 and the pipeline for the rest of the year remained positive despite an uncertain global outlook, the state investment agency said.

IDA Ireland said it had secured 155 investments with the potential to create 18,039 jobs, up 44% on the 12,530 jobs added in the first half of 2021 thanks for major new investments from the likes of TikTok, Intel  and Workday.

That was also up a third from the previous half-year high of 13,500 jobs in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted foreign direct investment (FDI).

Ireland is hugely reliant on multinationals that employ about one-in-nine workers and pay a massive chunk of the country’s tax take, a trend a senior official warned on Monday was an “incredible vulnerability”. 

IDA Ireland Chief Executive Martin Shanahan said on Wednesday global FDI levels appeared to have stalled again but that the pipeline for multinational job creation in Ireland “remains strong” for the second half of the year.

He said the agency was acutely aware of a recalibration in the technology sector after some companies – including those with a big presence in Ireland like Meta  – considered laying off people or putting a freeze on hiring. 

“I don’t think we’re back, just to be very clear, in 2001 terms or anything like that,” Shanahan told a news conference, referring to the dotcom bubble burst two decades ago.

“I have spent a lot of the last two months traveling and engaging directly with clients and there’s nothing that I’m hearing that gives us a significant cause of concern. Confidence in Ireland remains very strong and there are significant tech investments within the figures outlined this morning.”

Shanahan said the sectoral breakdown of the pipeline was similar to the last 18 months, with strong interest in pharmaceutical, medtech and microelectronics, along with firms looking to establish an international office for the first time.

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