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Despite competition from other jurisdictions and the challenging economic environment, IDA client companies announced over 5,000 jobs in the first six months of 2012 in various sectors including IT, life sciences, digital media, and international financial services.

According to the IDA, competitiveness has improved in areas such as office rents, construction costs, unit labour costs and business services in recent years, serving to boost Ireland’s FDI performance. Furthermore, Ireland continues to rank strongly in the availability of skilled staff with the 2012 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook placing Ireland number one in the world for skilled labour.

The IDA’s 2011 report shows that 146,000 people are now working directly in approximately 1,000 IDA client companies. Over 13,000 new jobs were created in 2011. The report also stresses that many multinationals are continuing to recruit in a variety of areas including IT, languages, sales and marketing.

Capital intensive projects have also increased notably in pharmaceutical and ICT sectors. Ireland is also performing strongly in the pharmaceutical sector, Ireland is continuing to perform strongly.

The report also highlights the need to plan for future demand of office space as some significant investments are expected. The IDA has consulted with NAMA in this regard.

Despite the positive figures, IDA CEO Barry O’Leary said there will be “challenging headwinds facing IDA and Ireland with little growth in European demand, moderate growth in the U.S. and a slowdown in the economies of China and India” yet the IDA “remains optimistic that Ireland can continue to win significant FDI, building on our strong track record”.  He added: “Even in areas of low or no growth, opportunities will arise in sectors such as the consolidation of technology and operations hubs in global financial institutions and consolidation of operations in a number of other sectors.”

”However IDA remains optimistic that Ireland can continue to win significant FDI, building on our strong track record. IDA targets a number of sectors that will continue to grow even in a globally challenging environment. These include IT/Technology, Digital Media and Lifesciences.

”IDA is in its third consecutive year of employment growth in its portfolio. IDA is energised, committed and focused on continuing to grow employment in coming years.”