Last year saw the highest net employment gain for Enterprise Ireland-client companies for 10 years, although the combined number of job losses also increased by nearly 4,000.
The agency’s end-of-year statement, issued yesterday, shows that just over 18,000 jobs were created by firms affiliated to it during 2013. After stripping out 12,591 job losses, the net jobs gain figure was 5,442. The losses figure was up from 9,000 in 2012; but the net gain figure was also up — from just over 3,800 in 2012 — and was the highest annual rise for a decade.
More data is due from the agency over the course of the coming months — with export figures from its client firms and its own annual report due in the spring and summer — but speaking at yesterday’s progress report, Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton hailed client firms as being “the heroes of our economy”.
He said last year’s performance was far removed from the days where 10,000 jobs were being lost per year, with no hint of growth evident, and allayed fears of a slowdown in the recovery of the economy by claiming that when full-time and part-time positions are accounted for, 2013 did not see a marked increase in job loss figures.
“This is the second year in a row that employment in Irish exporting companies has shown significant growth, after several years in which jobs were shed. These results — the latest in a line of positive indicators for the Irish economy — give confidence for the future,” he added.
Early indications suggest that a positive export performance from client firms boosted the EI-related job creation figures last year. Total direct employment — both full-and part-time — in the agency’s affiliated firms reached 175,750 at the close of the year, with just 26,000 of these being temporary positions.
Full-time positions in relevant firms are now at their highest levels since 2007. Furthermore, new job commitments, from agency-clients, reached 7,100 last year, exceeding the initial target of 6,250.
Minister Bruton noted the strong performance, in job creation, from the manufacturing sector; adding that 75% of those new jobs were outside Dublin, improving the regional spread.
According to Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland’s chief executive: “Our priority is to support entrepreneurship across the regions and develop strong, export-focused, ambitious Irish companies that can win new business and jobs for Ireland.”
Yesterday’s report also noted that a further 97 firms have been granted “high-potential start-up” status. Typically, two-thirds of all net new jobs come from start-ups within the first three years of existence.
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