Agencies’ job claims not backed by figures

Only two counties have seen a net increase in jobs in companies supported by either the IDA or Enterprise Ireland since 2008.

Although both agencies, particularly the IDA, regularly hit the headlines with large-scale job announcements, the figures show there has been a general trend of job losses in the two sectors over the past five years.

An analysis of figures compiled by the Department of Jobs show widely divergent performances between different parts of the country at firms supported by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland (EI).

Cork and Galway are the only counties to record an overall increase in employment at firms supported by the State bodies since 2008, despite an improved performance in the last two years.

However, a net growth of jobs recorded in 2011 and 2012 is the first indication that the worst of the recession may be over.

All other counties have seen the number of people working in IDA/EI-backed firms decline over the period, with Leitrim and Laois seeing combined job numbers drop by over 30%.

Since 2008, the number of people employed in such companies has fallen by over 20% in Tipperary, Limerick, Roscommon, Offaly, and Waterford.

Overall, employment levels in firms supported by the IDA/EI have decreased by more than 19,400, or 6%, to 281,965 in the past five years.

The figures show there is an uneven spread of jobs supported by the two agencies around the country, with half of firms backed by the IDA and EI located in Dublin and Cork.

Job cuts at EI-backed firmshave suffered worst during the economic downturn, with a net loss of almost 16,500 jobs, or 10% of all employment in the sector, to leave a total of 145,460 jobs at the end of 2012.

===Employment levels at IDA-supported companies[/url] have fallen 2% over the same period — down almost 3,000 to 136,505.

The state bodies recorded strong job growth in 2012, with net employment in IDA-backed firms up by more than 5,600, or 4%, while EI-supported companies saw a net increase of 3,338 jobs, or 2%.

However, Galway is the only county to record significant growth in IDA and EI firms since 2008, with a net gain of over 1,000 jobs to reach a total of 16,950 at the end of 2012. It represents growth of 7%.

The number of jobs in similar companies in Cork rose by 463, or 1%, to a total employment of 41,164.

At the other end of the scale, more than 3,200 jobs were lost in Limerick over the period.

Last year, Cork and Dublin benefited most from net jobs created at EI firms, while counties. Waterford, Tipperary, and Donegal suffered overall job losses.

Dublin and Cork also accounted for three-quarters of all net job increases at IDA companies in 2012. At the same time, Kildare, Leitrim, and Tipperary experienced net losses.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the results, drawn from Forfás’s annual employment survey, showed that 2012 was a good year for job creation in agency-supported companies.

He was responding to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

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