Job announcements from payments giant Stripe and cloud software provider Workday helped push employment growth among multinationals in Ireland back towards 2019 levels in the first six months of 2021, the state investment agency said on Monday.
IDA Ireland said it had secured 142 investments with the potential to create 12,530 jobs so far this year, versus the 9,600 new jobs added in the same coronavirus-hit period last year. It added a record 13,500 jobs in the first half of 2019.
Ireland's economy is hugely reliant on multinational firms that employ around one-in-eight Irish workers and faces a twin challenge of a move by many to embrace more remote working and a global corporate tax overhaul that threatens a key part of its policy for years.
IDA Ireland boss Martin Shanahan said the country would continue to have a competitive offering in the face of the tax changes.
Ireland has so far declined to sign up to an agreement struck by 130 of 139 countries negotiating the global overhaul, baulking at a proposed minimum rate of at least 15%, higher than its low 12.5% rate.
Dublin has said it supports much of the agreement and aims to find an outcome that it can endorse by an October deadline, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said on Monday.
Shanahan said the advent of remote working poses challenges and opportunities for Ireland and that for the most part, he expected that multinationals who allow employees to work away from the office will still require them to do so within Ireland.
Facebook, which is one of Ireland's largest multinational employers, announced last month that it will allow some Irish-based staff to permanently work from other countries, a move it said could slow jobs growth beyond its current "aggressive" hiring plans as it moves into a new Dublin campus.
Ireland's economy has leaned even more heavily on foreign employers such as Facebook, Alphabet's Google and Apple during the pandemic as one of Europe's toughest lockdown regimes has left 18% of people either permanently or temporarily out of work.
The Government separately announced plans to offer any employer a subsidy of up to €10,000 per jobless candidate they recruit and a doubling of training grants for those out of work. - Reuters