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samboal/photocallireland/Photocall Ireland
Closing up shop

The recession claimed 15% of Irish businesses

Despite this, Irish people still started up more companies in 2012 than in 2008.

ALMOST 15% OF Irish businesses went under during the recession, new statistics released by the CSO today show.

The data show that the number of enterprises in Ireland dropped from 216,265 in 2008 to 185,530 in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available.


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There was also a drop in the number of people employed by businesses in the enterprise category, which plummeted from over 1.5 million to just under 1.2 million over the four year span.

The total decline in employment was just under 20%.

Silver lining

Despite the overall negative picture painted by the statistics, the release also shows that many of the businesses founded during the recession have been able to survive during lean times.

For example, 48.4% of businesses founded in 2007 made it through to 2012.

Furthermore, the start-up ethic seems to be strong, with nearly 6% more businesses started in 2012 than in the preceding year. Overall, enterprise births during 2012 were actually 5% higher that in 2008.

The number of businesses dying out, while still high, was lower in 2011 than during the early years of the recession. Just over 18,000 enterprises closed their doors three years ago, compared to 24,511 in 2009.

The number of people employed in construction suffered a predictable but dramatic one year drop of nearly 40,000 people over the course of 2007-2008.

Read: 32,000 people set up a new business in Ireland last year>

Read: Ireland’s most shuttered main street is…>

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