1,000 public sector jobs created as a direct result of Brexit, says new report

1,000 public sector jobs created as a direct result of Brexit, says new report

More than 1,000 public sector jobs have been created as a direct result of Brexit, according to a new report from property advisor, Savills Ireland.

The new research found that Government jobs are the fastest growing sector of employment in Dublin, with public bodies accounting for 27% of all Dublin office take-up in the first half of 2019.

In part, this is driven by Brexit, according to the report, with 1,000 new public jobs created as a direct result.

These roles are in Revenue, customs controls, passport services, regulation and accreditation, and have not just been restricted to Dublin, but also include roles in Cork and Rosslare, according to Savills.

Public sector bodies account for 27% of all the office space leased in Dublin over the first-half of this year; the highest proportion in a decade. On average, over the last decade, the public sector has accounted for just 10.7% of take-up.

Government departments and State agencies with Brexit-related posts that have been taking office space in Dublin include IDA Ireland, the HSE, and the Revenue Commissioners, who also took space in Rosslare.

However, while Brexit has had some positive impacts on office demand, Savills’ report notes that it is hard to quantify the offsetting negatives arising from greater uncertainty.

The report said that Brexit in any form is likely to be a net negative for the Irish economy and to result in less business space being required than would have otherwise been the case.

Elsewhere, the Savills report shows that while office developments are continuing, it is not quite at the heights previously seen.

Approximately 150,000 sq m of office space will be completed this year, with roughly 50,000 sq m also set to be demolished. In comparison, in 2007, there was almost 300,000 sq m added to Dublin.

Meanwhile, the report also forecasts further growth for Cork in the coming 12 months. In the first half of the year, more than 23,000 sq m were let, including a significant amount of space in Navigation Square.

Financial services and ICT accounted for 35% and 29% of the take-up, respectively. The office vacancy rate declined to just 8%, down from 10.2% in the same period last year, and prime rents are now €350 per sq m, roughly half that of offices at the top end of the Dublin market.

There are currently five schemes under construction, with more than 54,000 sq m of office space due to be available over the next 12 months, including high-profile developments at Horgan's Quay, Penrose Dock and Navigation Square.

Planning permission has already been granted for a further 243,889 sq m of office development, more than one-third of which is in Cork city centre.

Andrew Cunningham, director and head of offices at Savills Ireland, said: "There have recently been suggestions that office construction has peaked. However, based on Savills’ detailed scheme-by-scheme analysis of the development pipeline, we disagree with this view.

"Based on activity that is already onsite, we expect significantly more space to be delivered next year than was the case in 2019. While this is likely to result in some uptick in vacancy rates during 2020, rents appear to be well underpinned for the foreseeable future."

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