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Vast majority of IDA jobs in Dublin and Cork as rural counties fall behind

Newly-released figures show the vast amount of IDA-supported jobs are created in Dublin.

Dublin saw the vast bulk of IDA-supported jobs last year.
Dublin saw the vast bulk of IDA-supported jobs last year.

JOBS FROM FOREIGN direct investment (FDI) are not being spread evenly throughout Ireland, with rural counties missing out on the bulk of investment, according to newly-released figures.

Recently released figures show that Ireland had a total of 187,056 jobs in companies supported by the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) in 2015. These are jobs typically created through foreign direct investment.

The number has increased by over 27,000 jobs since 2012, with last year having been the most successful in the IDA’s history.

The vast majority of these jobs are located in Dublin and other urban centres, with certain rural counties having actually lost jobs since 2012.

Dublin had 77,244 jobs supported by the IDA last year (41% of the total number), while Cork had 33,831 (18% of the total).

However the figures show that 18 counties in Ireland accounted for just 2% of all the IDA-supported jobs last year.

Monaghan, Leitrim, Sligo, Kildare and others have all lost jobs since 2012, while other counties have gained significantly.

Monaghan has seen the number of IDA-supported jobs drop by over half since 2012 to 146 last year.

FF IDA Source: Oireachtas

“Two-tiered recovery”

The figures will re-enforce opposition politicians’ claims that Ireland’s economic recovery over the past number of years has been two-tired, favouring certain areas over others.

Fine Gael had a disastrous general election campaign earlier in the year, with two recent internal reports showing that they had failed to properly connect with voters.

The party’s election mantra - ‘Let’s keep the recovery going’ – received a lot of criticism for refusing to acknowledge that a lot of people were not feeling any sort of recovery.

The figures were released in reply to a parliamentary question by Fianna Fáil spokesperson on jobs and enterprise, Niall Collins.

Collins criticised the government, saying the figures painted a “damning picture” of the recovery.

“The previous government denied the existence of a two-tier recovery, but these figures paint a damning picture,” he said.

The minister [Mary Mitchell O'Connor] needs to accept the reality that her government has failed the Ireland that exists outside the M50, and needs to prioritise FDI-investment in counties outside the Greater Dublin Area.

In her response to the PQ, Jobs Minister Mitchell O’Connor said that the number of jobs created was “the highest in the agency’s history”.

“The government’s commitment to countrywide job creation is further illustrated by the Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative,” said the minister.

This initiative saw eight plans published throughout 2015 and 2016, which identified a range of actions aimed at supporting each region to achieve its economic potential and raise employment levels.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the department said a regional action plan for jobs was put in place to address unequal growth in areas.

“The recognition that jobs growth was stronger in some areas than others was the very reason the regional action plans for jobs were put in place,” the spokesperson said.

“The plans commit our jobs agencies to achieve specific targets in each region with the first progress reports due shortly.”

All eight regional Action Plans will be supported by investment of up to €250 million over the period to 2020, including €150 million for a property investment programme by IDA Ireland.

Read: Live Register: The number of people signing on has fallen below 300,000

Read: Wearing brown shoes with a suit could lose you a job in banking

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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