Industry & Business

Highest Number Ever Employed in Multinational Sector

Highest Number Ever Employed in Multinational Sector

Highest Number Ever Employed in Multinational Sector
January 11
11:38 2019

IDA Ireland, which is responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to the county, has announced that employment levels in its client companies have reached 229,057. FDI’s performance has exceeded targets set by Government contained in IDA Ireland’s Strategy – Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019.

For context, IDA clients added two and a half times more jobs under “Winning” FDI strategy than in the first 4 years of IDA’s previous strategy 2010 – 2014.  58% of employment is now outside of Dublin in 2018, which is the highest number of people employed by IDA clients outside of Dublin in the history of the organisation, with more jobs added in the regions than at any time over the past 17 years.

Welcoming the results, Heather Humphreys, Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said: “The IDA’s record results for 2018 underline how strongly Ireland continues to perform when it comes to attracting FDI. The significant increase achieved in employment is all the more impressive considering the highly competitive global FDI marketplace in which Ireland and the IDA operate. The Government will continue working hard in 2019 to ensure that Ireland remains a destination of choice for overseas firms looking to invest or expand their presence in Europe.

“I particularly welcome the gains made in deepening and growing investment outside of Ireland’s main cities, with the largest regional employment growth achieved in 17 years. 58% of all IDA client-supported jobs are now located outside Dublin, with every region of the country seeing employment gains in 2018.”

Martin Shanahan (pictured above), CEO of IDA Ireland, said: “Foreign Direct Investment has transformed Ireland over the last 70 years. FDI continues to drive the economy with strong employment growth at 7%, compared to national average of 3% in 2018. FDI Exports experienced growth of 10% and an increase of 8% in the amount spent in the Irish economy on Payroll, Materials and Services – this now stands at over €19.2 billion. The strength of FDI can also be seen in increasing Corporation tax receipts – IDA Client companies account for an estimated two thirds of Ireland’s Corporation tax and one third of combined Income Tax, USC and Employer PRSI tax. Ireland’s investment proposition continues to resonate with companies across the globe as investors search for stability and certainty.”

Martin Shanahan continues: “Once again, the 2018 figures show a consistent pattern of extremely strong job creation amongst IDA Client companies in recent years. It is important to remember that only ten years ago, across 2008 and 2009, Ireland lost over 35,000 FDI jobs during the Global Financial Crisis. This is a salutary reminder that we can take nothing for granted and we need to be vigilant, particularly in relation to our competitiveness. All jobs are fought for and won against increasing international competition.”

Apart from direct employment and skills transfer, IDA Ireland’s client companies have a hugely positive effect on the local economy with over eight jobs being created for every 10 jobs in an FDI company. Spillovers from Multinational Company (MNC) investment directly into the Irish economy include expenditure on Irish materials and services totalling €7.5bn, an annual payroll spend of €11.7 billion and capital investment of €5.7 billion on new buildings and machinery and equipment.


IDA Ireland has continued to secure a substantial number of Brexit-related investments in 2018 with the overall figure now standing at 55+ for investment approved with over 4,500+ associated jobs. For investors, the importance of Ireland’s ability to provide a stable predictable investment climate cannot be overstated. We have continued to engage significantly with our clients on this issue, fighting for any mobile investment that arises.

Ireland’s advantages in a post-Brexit context include English language, commitment to the EU, a common law system in addition to our existing competitive proposition. Leading companies like Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Legal & General, Everest Re, Central Pharma, The Standard Club, Coinbase, Citi Group, Barclays, AXA XL, Wasdell Group, EquiLend, Thomson Reuters, BRE Global, Simmons & Simmons, Neueda Technologies and Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) have all declared a new or expanded presence for Ireland in 2018.

New Strategy

Over the course of 2019, IDA Ireland’s Board will be developing the agency’s new five-year strategy. This strategy will take account of the changing nature of work and the impact of technology on specific sectors.

Martin Shanahan says: “Ireland is a small open trading economy and increased nationalism and protectionism is likely to have an impact on future FDI figures. Ten years on from the financial crisis, the global economy continues to grow at a steady pace but the OECD says global GDP growth has peaked and is slowing on the back of weaker trade growth and less supportive monetary and fiscal policies.

“According to FDI Intelligence, global greenfield investment projects fell 1.1% in 2017, while at the same time investment into Ireland continued to grow. Ireland wins a much larger market share of European FDI than expected for its size. Ireland’s share of all FDI projects to the EU in 2017 was 5.4%, while Ireland’s share of EU GDP was just 1.9%.

“As we said last year, maintaining the competitiveness of the Irish economy remains absolutely essential. Issues that our clients are raising and that the National Competitiveness Council has also identified include: residential housing – availability & cost; skills; infrastructure investment; investment in the education sector and income tax levels at the higher marginal rate.”

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