32,000 jobs created in South East region since 2012

Over the past six years, more than 32,000 jobs have been created, according to Alan Quirke, recently appointed Director of the Ireland South East Development Office.

During this period, the unemployment rate fell from a peak of 16% in 2012 to 8% in 2018.

Today sees the publication of the first 'Ireland's South East: Economy at a Glance' statistical bulletin.

The bulletin, along with the release of the CSO's Q4 2018 Labour Force Survey results this week, offer an opportunity to look at the performance of the regional economy over the previous year, said Mr Quirke.

He said that the bulletin shows "that the South East is making steady progress in terms of falling unemployment, increasing employment and a growing labour force.

"Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland have posted record jobs numbers in the South East for 2018 and cutting-edge companies such as Bausch and Lomb, Glanbia and MSD have committed to investing around €500 million in the region in the last six months".

Mr Quirke added that “the progress is also related to the cost competitiveness of the region where average house prices are one third of those in South Dublin, general costs of living are over one third cheaper than Dublin and childcare costs are the cheapest in the country.

This is adding to the high quality of life that the region already offers and is a great basis from which to build the South East as the first choice for business, careers, inward investment and tourists.

As well as investment from companies, significant investment has continued in two major road projects costing €650m - the New Ross and Enniscorthy bypasses - both of which are due to open in the summer of 2019.

Funding has been granted for eight Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Ups which is a record number for the region and five companies have received the Competitive Start Fund.

Just under €3m was secured in 2018 under the Regional Economic Development Fund which will fund the Crystal Valley Tech Cluster, the Incupharm Life Sciences start-up and R&D lab, and the Centre4Design which will promote problem-solving and innovation in the region’s businesses.

“Challenges remain on the horizon – not least in whatever form Brexit will take – but our view is that the region is making steady progress," said Mr Quirke.

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