IDA firms increase employment to highest level in agency’s history in 2014

IDA companies created 15,012 new jobs in Ireland during 2014, while the agency’s client firms now employ a total of 174,488 people, the highest level on record.

The agency said that when job losses of 7,881 last year were taken into account, the net increase in employment among client companies was 7,131, one of the highest net levels of job creation in a decade.

There were 197 investments in 2014, a 20pc increase on 2013’s figure of 164. IDA said there was a notable rise in new name investment, with 88 first time investors in 2014, a 13pc increase on 2013.

Among the leading investments secured during the year were Amazon, Bristol Myers Squibb, Fidelity, LinkedIn, Survey Monkey, Airbnb, PayPal, Ericsson, SAP, Johnson & Johnson,West Pharmaceuticals, Zendesk, Adroll and New Relic.

IDA said it has now exceeded the jobs and investment targets set under its Horizon 2020 strategy and is currently finalising a new five-year strategy to take the organisation into a new phase of development.

“Our focus at IDA is real jobs, real companies and real economic impact and in that context 2014 was a very successful year,” said IDA chief executive, Martin Shanahan. “While the direct jobs created are of course welcome, we are seeing noticeable gains for the wider domestic economy from the investments made by overseas companies we work with.”

Outside the direct jobs created, IDA said an estimated 10,000 people are currently employed on construction projects underway with client companies, providing a considerable economic boost to the sector and the wider economy.

The agency also noted that 2014 was a much improved year for regional dispersal of investments with 37pc of projects going outside Dublin and Cork, the best performance since the current Horizon 2020 strategy got underway and up on the 30pc recorded in the previous year.

High quality regional investments won during the year include those from Jazz Pharmaceuticals in Co Roscommon, Beckton Dickinson in Drogheda, NuVasive in Waterford, Teleflex in Athlone and ClearStream Technologies in Enniscorthy. 

Commenting on the outlook for 2015, Shanahan said that based on the immediate IDA pipeline, covering the first quarter of 2015 the agency is optimistic about the future flow of investment into Ireland. “In relation to the remainder of the year we are cautiously optimistic Ireland is in a good position to win significant business across a range of sectors.

“However all business is hard-won and we need to be vigilant and avoid complacency, particularly in the area of cost competitiveness. The mistakes of the past must not be repeated. A poor growth outlook for Europe will also be a challenge. Finally, the importance of the education and training sector providing a supply of talented graduates cannot be overstated.  

“Despite a challenging environment, IDA is confident it can turn in a strong performance in 2015, particularly building on the new strategic direction we will set for the organisation shortly.”

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