Industry & Business

210,443 Now Employed in IDA Ireland Portfolio

210,443 Now Employed in IDA Ireland Portfolio

210,443 Now Employed in IDA Ireland Portfolio
January 09
11:39 2018

IDA Ireland, the Irish Government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland, has announced that employment levels in foreign owned companies have reached 210,443. This figure surpasses the overall five year target of 209,000 which was set in 2015 in IDA Ireland’s Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019 strategy.

IDA Client Employment grew by 5.3% in 2017, against the national average of 2.3%. That strategy set targets for the creation of jobs in Ireland over a five year period from 2015-2019 – this target was itself a 40% uplift on the previous strategy from 2010 – 2014.

Martin Shanahan (pictured), CEO of IDA said: “There are 210,443 people going to work in foreign direct investment firms every day in Ireland, and we know the knock-on employment impact on the economy is much greater than this. We have achieved this figure two years ahead of target. The targets that were set were hugely ambitious at the time, and I would like to pay tribute to the companies that have placed their confidence in Ireland, to my colleagues in IDA Ireland who fight to win these jobs on a daily basis – they have worked tirelessly to achieve these numbers and also to all of those in the public and private sector who assist us in that effort.”

Category Results 2017 Results 2016 Results 2015
Total Employment 210,443 199,877 187,056
Job Gains 19,851 18,627 18,983
Job Losses (9,167) (6,785) (7,150)
Net Jobs 10,684 11,842 11,833

“The high level of investments won remained stable in 2017 with 237 new investments secured by IDA during the year. The number of new name investments increased to 111 from 99 in the previous year.”

“The strong net job creation performance of 10,684 additional jobs in Ireland shows the resilience of the Irish offering where investors continue to value talent, track record, and a stable regulatory environment.”

As was flagged in the 2016 results, job losses were at remarkably low levels as a percentage of the overall employment in FDI. As expected, the levels of losses have increased in 2017. This number is much closer to the long term average.

Heather Humphreys TD, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation said: “These results demonstrate that the level of Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland has never been better, and I would like to pay tribute to the ongoing dedicated work of the IDA team.

“Ireland may be approaching full employment, and we may now be seeing stronger domestic economic activity, but the Government won’t lose sight of how important the lifeblood of FDI continues to be for our country.

“A key priority of mine, which I know the IDA shares, is growing FDI into the regions. Coming from a rural background, I know how beneficial a new investment can be to areas outside Dublin, particularly in the context of Brexit.

“The IDA is already making real headway in this regard, and I look forward to working closely with the team and across Government to further attract FDI into Regional locations in 2018.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA said: “The 2017 figures are consistent with a pattern of extremely strong job creation amongst IDA Client companies in recent years. 19,851 new jobs were created over the course of the year – resulting in 10,684 of a net gain in jobs for the year.

“To put this 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.

“In the last three years alone, IDA Ireland has exceeded the total net increase in jobs targeted in its   five-year Strategy.”

Among the leading investments secured this year were:

  • Element Six based in Shannon, Co Clare announced the creation of an additional 100 jobs in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing, with recruitment already underway and all posts set to be filled in the first half of this year
  • Mercury Filmworks in Kilkenny announced it has joined forces with acclaimed Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon to create an all-new 2D-focused animation studio in Ireland, Lighthouse Studio which will create over 140 jobs
  • – the world’s largest job site, announced expansion plans for its Dublin-basedheadquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), adding 500 new employees over the next two years
  • Microsoft announced it will add 800 new jobs at its Dublin based EMEA Inside Sales organisation
  • Mobile Technologies Inc. (MTI) is to hire 150 people in its newly established European Contact Centre Headquarters in Drogheda
  • BorgWarner announced it is to add a new production line for Electric Vehicle Technology and create 50 new jobs in Tralee, Co Kerry
  • MSD announced 330 new jobs to be created in Carlow and Cork, and invest €280m to expand production facilities
  • Northern Trust will add up to 400 new jobs in Limerick
  • Graebel Companies Inc. announced it is to create 125 new jobs in a EMEA Financial Shared Services and Operations Centre in Dundalk, Co Louth
  • KBRA – the Credit ratings agency, selected Dublin for European Headquarters and will create 100 jobs
  • Janssen Sciences Ireland announced an expansion of its Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork facility. The expansion plans involve an investment of more than €300m and will create 200 new jobs
  • Wasdell Group to establish Pharmaceutical Packaging & Distribution Facility in Dundalk, Co Louth creating 300 jobs over five years
  • Beckman Coulter, which develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical testing, is expanding the company’s development and manufacturing facility at Lismeehan, Co Clare, creating 70 jobs over the next two to three years.
  • National Pen, a leading global provider of personalised marketing merchandise, celebrated its 30th anniversary in Dundalk, Co Louth and announced that it will add 250 new jobs.
  • S&P Global Ratings announced it has chosen Dublin as a post-Brexit European hub.
  • Travelers Europe announced it is to create a European subsidiary in Dublin in response to Brexit


Dublin, as the only city location of ‘international’ scale in foreign investment terms, continues to perform well and IDA Ireland predicts this trend will continue in 2018. The city continues to show a remarkable capacity to attract foreign direct investment and has developed an international reputation as a hub for financial services and FinTech, Technology and International Operations centres, amongst others.

IDA Ireland continued to work relentlessly throughout 2017 to secure investments and jobs into areas outside of Dublin. Convincing international investors to consider locations outside of Dublin continues to prove challenging with multinational companies increasingly looking to invest in bigger communities globally.

IDA Ireland will continue to work with all Government and regional stakeholders to present regional locations in the best possible light to potential investors.

Total Employment 2017 Growth Rate over 2016
Dublin & Mid East 101,222 6%
South-West 37,434 4%
West 23,286 5%
Mid-West 17,787 5%
South-East 14,918 9%
Border 11,469 4%
Midlands 4,327 1%
Total 210,443 5%

IDA works with the Private Sector to secure buildings and sites to meet the needs of clients. In recent years, the private sector has not been investing in property solutions outside Dublin and with financial support from Government; IDA has stepped in as an investor of last resort, to ensure that Property solutions, in Regional locations are in place to win investments and jobs in order to meet our clients’ needs.

IDA Ireland’s Regional Property Investment Programme has been designed to win investments and jobs into Regional locations with the objective of creating high-spec pre-built turnkey property options that businesses could move into at short notice. So far, IDA has successfully secured tenants for the first buildings completed under its Regional property investment programme in Waterford, Athlone and Sligo. Two new buildings in Castlebar and Tralee are now complete and being marketed extensively. Construction is also underway in Galway.

IDA Ireland continues to roll out its building programme across the country with new buildings planned in Carlow, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone and Waterford over the next two years.

IDA Ireland has secured a substantial number of Brexit-related investments in 2017. As per our Brexit-strategy, we have engaged significantly with our clients supported by a multi-media marketing campaign highlighting Ireland’s advantages in a post-Brexit context including English language, commitment to the EU, a common law system in addition to our existing competitive proposition. IDA Ireland has also undertaken and participated in BREXIT related conferences and events across the globe.

Leading companies like Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, S&P Global, Legal & General, Pinsent Masons, Northern Trust, Citadel, Tobam, alterDomus, Fundrock, Chaucer, Kabbage, Willis Towers Watson, Bank of China and Beazley Re have all declared for Ireland in 2017.

As Brexit negotiations continue in 2018, IDA Ireland will be redoubling its efforts with mobile investors to highlight Ireland’s suitability as a location for international business.  There has been several major Life Sciences investment wins in 2017, including UK firm Wasdell Group announcing its intention to locate a 300 person plant in Dundalk.

IDA Executives continue to engage with senior C-Suite executives from across the Technology, Life Sciences, Financial Services and the legal sectors on Brexit and potential investment opportunities in 2018.

IDA Ireland continues to focus on expanding and deepening its relationships in Europe as well as in countries like China, India, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA said: “Our market diversification strategy is working, but it will take time. In 2017, 67% of investment came from the US compared to 72% in 2016. Europe accounted for 24% in 2017, up from 20%. Growth markets moved from 8% in 2016 to 9% in 2017.”

As flagged when IDA Ireland rolled out its Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019 Strategy, the Agency undertook a review of the objectives and targets contained within the strategy at its mid-point in 2017.

Global political circumstances have changed remarkably since late 2014 when the strategy was developed with the United Kingdom’s forthcoming exit from the European Union and a new US Administration impacting the international investment climate.

Ireland’s investment proposition, offering a stable policy and regulatory environment, the availability of talent and a track record of a strong base of existing international companies, continues to appeal greatly to investors. In order to achieve an optimum outcome for the remaining two years of its strategy, the Agency plans to make a number of adjustments to its strategy.

  • IDA Ireland will be reorganising its global footprint from 3 to 4 territories in recognition of Brexit (USA, Europe, AsiaPac, United Kingdom)
  • The United Kingdom will be treated as a separate territory
  • From 2018, IDA Ireland’s continental European business will be managed from its Frankfurt office
  • IDA Ireland will open a new Canada Office in Toronto in 2018
  • IDA will explore a number of new market opportunities – UAE, Turkey and South Africa
  • And  will focus on opportunities and challenges presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA said: “Based on the performance for the first three-years of the strategy, IDA expects to exceed the Investment and Job creation targets set for Winning FDI Strategy 2015–2019, but significant down-side risks exist. The business environment for FDI remains very competitive with many other countries seeking to win the same investments as Ireland.

There are substantial International Developments, the precise impacts of which are not yet known. These include the on-going Brexit negotiations and recent taxation reform in the US. Greater protectionism is also an increasing phenomenon that may impact FDI flows globally.

Maintaining the competitiveness of the Irish economy remains essential – issues for FDI investors include: Residential Housing – availability & cost; skills; infrastructure investment; income tax levels at the higher marginal rate and increasing industrial relations activity.

Planned responses and initiatives already undertaken by Government in response to these issues will assist in convincing investors of Ireland’s continued commitment to maintaining competitiveness.

In the short to medium term, technological developments such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are likely to have a major impact on the future of work and employment across all sectors.”

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