Richard Bruton was speaking in Cork as US software company, SolarWinds, announced 100 jobs in an IDA-supported expansion of its European headquarters in City Gate, Mahon.
Earlier, he announced the creation of 100 jobs through an €8m Enterprise Ireland investment in a new manufacturing facility at ribs and cooked meats providers, Ribworld in Fethard, which will bring employment at the M&M Walshe food group company to over 175.
Retail giant BWG also announced a €100m investment in the opening of 50 new Spar stores by 2016 which will create 1,000 part-time and full-time jobs.
“Today’s announcements show the two sides of our challenge,” the minister said. “We want to see companies like SolarWinds, in the ICT sector, coming to cities like Cork which has built a reputation for ambitious companies. But also the other side, like Ribworld, a traditional company which has the ambition to become a global player.
“What we see now is Ireland becoming a magnet for very ambitious companies worldwide but also increasingly, we are growing our own indigenous companies to have global ambitions.
“And I think that is why we are seeing the fastest growing employment rate anywhere in Europe at the moment.
“We have a lot more to do. We have high unemployment, we have emigration — but we can have that confidence that the plan we are pursuing is delivering results,” said Mr Bruton.
SolarWinds established its EU base in City Gate in 2007. Employing 140, its office space has been expanded by 7,100sq metres.
The company is already hiring to fill the new positions in multilingual sales and technical support, international finance, HR, marketing and customer service.
The starting salary for most of the jobs is around €50,000.
David Owens, the company’s senior vice president of finance and operations, said he envisages the company’s growth continuing over the next five to 10 years.
“We have constant job openings and an on-site recruiter whose sole job 24/7 is to keep recruiting people,” he said.
Cork Chamber welcomed what was the 17th IDA-backed jobs announcement in Cork since the start of 2013.
“Throughout 2014 our economic trends surveys have shown positivity and we hope that next week’s budget adds to that by ensuring an even more encouraging environment for economic growth and job creation,” Chamber CEO Conor Healy said.
Ribworld said it is investing in a new facility to meet increased demand for its products and expanding market share across Europe and other international markets.
And BWG Group chief executive Leo Crawford said, following six years of recession, he believes the economy is turning the corner and the uplift is starting to positively impact the retail sector.
“The upcoming budget will be a crucial milestone and we urge the Government to include measures, such as the reversal in employer PRSI rates, in order to maintain the fragile recovery in our sector,” he said.
Irish job searches on one of the world’s leading jobs websites are up 40%, as confidence returns to the economy.
Research from Indeed — the world’s leading job site — found there were 600,000 unique visitors now logging on to Indeed’s Irish site every month — a 40% increase on the year to August.
The research shows returning to work after the weekend leads to an increase in job hunting, with the peak time for job search happening between 8am and 11am on a Monday. It also indicates that the improving economy is making employees more willing to look out for jobs.
Overall, the percentage of jobseekers accessing the website on mobile devices has increased year on year by 33% and now accounts for 52% of all job search traffic. Increases in mobile traffic occur in the hours before and after the typical work day demonstrating a move to job search on-the-go.
The study found that the most popular time of year to search for a job is autumn, as workers all around the country return to their regular routines after school holidays and their own summer breaks. Irish people are least likely to look for a job in December, when people are distracted by the festive period.
Commenting on the research, managing director of Indeed Ireland Gerard Murnaghan said that he expects job searches to rise in the coming months.
“It’s very encouraging to see a year-on-year increase of 40% in the numbers of job seekers visiting the Irish site. As the economic recovery gathers pace, and the rate of unemployment continues to edge downwards, we expect this growth to continue. We are also seeing employers looking to hire more talent and in the last year available roles on Indeed.ie have increased 12%,” he said.