Employment within IDA’s portfolio of multinational companies (MNC) continued to grow throughout the Covid-19
pandemic. While job losses were at slightly more elevated levels, job gains remained remarkably buoyant. This is testament to the strength of the companies IDA works with and the stability of Ireland as a location in which to do business. It also reflects the unprecedented level of fiscal support provided by the Government to ease the impact of the pandemic on the economy, protecting jobs and incomes.

Total direct employment in IDA client companies grew by 7% in 2021 to reach a record 275,3841. IDA recorded job gains of 29,057 and losses of 12,231, resulting in a net employment gain of 16,826. The job gains and net employment figures were both the highest on record. Losses were higher than in recent years in absolute terms but represented a historically low share of the overall base. Employment increased in every region of the country taking IDA client employment outside Dublin to 151,676 – 55% of total employment in the portfolio. There was particularly strong growth in the Midlands (+10%), the South-East (+8%), and the West (+6%). Employment in Dublin, which continues to be a vital driver of Ireland’s
FDI performance, grew by 9%. Beyond these sizeable direct employment figures, a further 8 jobs are estimated to be supported in the wider economy for every 10 jobs in IDA client companies – implying combined direct and indirect IDA client employment of over 495,0002.

IDA won a further 249 investments in 2021, in line with pre-pandemic averages. The strong flow of projects was driven by existing client expansions (87 investments) and a better than anticipated new name investor performance (104 investments). Over half of all projects (133, 53%) went to regional locations – representing a very strong start to IDA’s target to deliver 400 regional investments as part of our Regions strategic pillar. Investment delivery was strong across all source markets, with the largest share of projects coming from North America (64%) followed by Europe (27%) and Growth Markets (8%). These shares indicate a return to the pre-pandemic geographical split of investment, in line with our commitment to maintain North America as a key market while also diversifying to attract additional investment from elsewhere.

Under the Transformation pillar of IDA’s strategy, 43 RD&I investments and 15 training investments were secured last year. Our ongoing focus on transformation aims to support clients to increase their productivity, resilience, and innovative capacity. IDA also partnered with clients on 15 sustainability related investments, which seek to either build Ireland’s green economy capabilities or to enhance the sustainability of MNC operations in Ireland. Across each investment type – from new names to sustainability – the projects secured in 2021 provide a strong platform for continued resiliency, innovation and growth in the client base over the coming years as these projects get underway. 

This excerpt was taken from the Chairman & CEO Overview in IDA Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts 2021, which can be viewed in full here