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Midlands strongest for IDA Ireland job growth in 2023

Annual results from IDA Ireland show that the Midlands region was the strongest for job growth in 2023, with a 5.8% increase in employment at IDA client companies in the region, reflecting a stable and resilient FDI sector.

Nationally, the Modern Manufacturing and Traditional Manufacturing sectors showed the highest levels of job growth in the year, a trend that is reflected in the strong job growth in the Midlands given that Advanced Manufacturing is a key industry cluster in the region. A fall nationally in the Information and Communication Services sector due a global slowdown in the sector had a limited impact on the region with the Midlands ICT cluster continuing to perform strongly.

National Performance

  • 248 investments won in 2023 for Ireland – up 2.5%, enabling the creation of almost 19,000 jobs
    Over 1,800 IDA client companies directly employing more than 300,000 in Ireland for the second consecutive year, reflecting mature, stable, resilient FDI sector
  • Continued strong regional performance in 2023 – 132 investments outside of Dublin, representing 54% of total investments
  • Performance reflects commitment by FDI sector to transformation across research development & innovation, sustainability, digitalisation, & talent development

FDI Outlook 2024

  • Ireland’s national FDI proposition remains strong against challenging international environment and increased competition
  • Multinational companies are embracing research development & innovation, sustainability, digitalisation & talent development, and Ireland is well placed to be part of these transformational initiatives.
  • “IDA Ireland’s focus remains on winning investment for Ireland, building partnerships with client companies and supporting them in their growth & transformation.” – CEO IDA Ireland, Michael Lohan  

IDA Ireland reported strong annual results for 2023 showing an increased number of investments, steady levels of employment across the FDI sector, robust regional investment and strong performance across key transformation areas of research development and innovation, sustainability, digitalisation and talent development.

The organisation reported an increase in the number of investments into Ireland during 2023 totalling 248 and which are expected to deliver almost 19,000 jobs to the economy. A third of investments won, 83, were greenfield or first-time investments.

IDA Ireland has over 1,800 client companies within its portfolio employing 300,583 in 2023, holding above 300,000 jobs for the second consecutive year. Accounting for 11.3% of national employment, this represents a slight decrease in client employment of just 0.3%, despite a slowdown in Information and Communications Services (down 2.9%). Job growth was recorded across all other sectors with Modern Manufacturing up 1.8%, Traditional Manufacturing up 0.2% and in Business, Financial and Other Services up 0.8%. This underscores the importance of diversification across knowledge intensive and growth sectors to enable continued enterprise and economic impact.

Balanced regional development is a priority for IDA Ireland and today’s results represent this focus and commitment. There were 132 investments secured across regional locations during 2023, representing 54% of the overall figure. The total number of regional jobs now stands at 163,471. The Midlands Region saw the strongest level of growth, up 5.8%. There was growth in the Border Region (up 2.7%) and Midwest Region (up 2.6%) with the Southwest and Southeast regions up by 1.2% and 1.4% respectively. Elsewhere, the West Region was down by 1.8% whilst Dublin and the Mid East Region declined by 1.2% and 4.8% respectively.

IDA Ireland regards transformation as critical to delivering and sustaining future economic impact and prioritises areas of research and development, innovation, sustainability, digitalisation, and talent development, as client companies look to build a sustainable future. In 2023, IDA Ireland approved 25 sustainability projects focused on carbon abatement and building Ireland’s Green Economy. Over €1.4bn was committed by IDA clients on research and innovation projects during the year. Furthermore, client spend of over €77m was committed to investment in talent development.

This focus on transformation holds firm as IDA Ireland looks to the future and to continue delivering Irish economic impact. Transformation will support IDA client companies – both existing and new – as they build competitiveness, grow, and further embed themselves in Ireland. It will underpin Ireland’s platform for ongoing economic development and position the country for future growth.

Simon Coveney, Minister Enterprise Trade & Employment said, “The results announced today by IDA Ireland are indicative of a resilient Ireland that, despite huge global challenges, remains an attractive destination for global companies to locate, build and grow their business. The work of IDA Ireland is pivotal to the delivery of the government’s White Paper on Enterprise and the results delivered today show an impressive, sustained performance despite challenges experienced in the global tech industry in the past 15 months. This reinforces the importance of a diversified economy across a variety of sectors.”

Michael Lohan, CEO IDA Ireland said, “With 248 investments won by IDA Ireland this year, the strength of today’s results speaks to the continued attractiveness of Ireland as a location for FDI. The results also reflect an enduring commitment amongst FDI companies, supported by IDA Ireland, who continue to show confidence in Ireland as a location in which to make complex, innovative, and impactful investments at scale.

These investments are delivering sustained levels of highly skilled employment across the country as borne out by the direct job numbers reported today of over 300,000 for the second year in a row, against a backdrop of the global tech reset and severe global headwinds such as inflation, changing industrial policy, and ongoing geopolitical disruption across the world.

In the face of these challenges, however, we have a strong platform for growth as reflected in the latest ABSEI results. Expenditure within the economy by FDI companies increased during 2022 despite the prevailing challenging conditions. Payroll was up 12% to €22.1bn, Irish services and materials spend increased by 15.7% to €13.8bn, and capital expenditure was up 49% to €15.5bn. Exports of €383.1bn represent an increase of 11.2% year on year.

IDA Ireland continues to work with our client companies to support their drive for competitiveness as they move through the twin transition. Transformation focused on research development and innovation, sustainability, digitalisation and talent development is critical to remaining competitive, reflected in our partnerships and conversations with client companies and our stakeholders.

As we move into 2024, it is important to recognise that we continue to face domestic as well as global challenges. It’s acknowledged that Ireland’s carrying capacity and infrastructural development, particularly in housing and energy supply, needs to be accelerated. Under IDA Ireland’s current strategy, Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021-2024, our focus remains on winning investment for Ireland and sustained regional development. During the next 12 months, we will be developing a new strategy to underpin Ireland’s FDI offering. Paramount to that will be the partnerships that we build with our regional and national stakeholders and client companies to support them in their growth and transformation in order to deliver jobs and broader economic benefit to Ireland.”

For more on Investing in the Midlands, visit Midlands Ireland Business or contact IDA Ireland


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