Job creation by multinationals may be nearing its peak, and the government is looking to drug companies to pick up the slack from the ongoing technology wreck.
We don’t expect every year to be the best year on record,” said Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar on Monday.
“It is very difficult to predict the future, but we expect to see a further increase in the number of employees in multinational companies next year. But growth will not be as strong as in recent years, mainly because of what is happening in the global economy.”
He was responding to IDA Ireland’s annual report, which showed that the number of people employed by multinational companies surpassed 300,000 for the first time this year, up 9 per cent from a previous record set in 2021.
Capital investments by IDA client companies increased 8 percent to €9.2 billion, with well over half of the new investments – 167 out of 242 – coming from North American firms.
But that only paints a partial picture of what is going on in the Irish economy.
The global junk of tech jobs has cost Ireland around 1,000 jobs so far, but those losses were not included in the IDA figures and could soar far higher.
“There will be some job losses,” said Mary Buckley, IDA’s interim managing director. “Growth next year will be slower. To be honest, we certainly have an investment pipeline for the first half of the year, but it’s more difficult to be really clear about the second half.”
IT firms remain the largest employers in the multinational sector, accounting for nearly 39 percent of all new jobs created this year, although ‘modern manufacturing’ – medical devices and pharmaceuticals – is catching up at just under 35 percent.
“When it comes to the big expansions and the big new jobs, I think it’s going to be more in the life sciences and more in manufacturing than the technology sector,” Mr Varadkar said.
“But the tech sector will grow again. The future is digital and we want to make sure we prepare for the next phase of growth in the tech sector, which is likely not too far away.”
However, according to a recent survey by the American Chamber, housing is fast becoming a barrier to new investment, which US firms see as their top challenge.
Recent numbers show a slowdown in housing starts and construction activity in the third quarter as war and inflation take their toll, while a recent Economic and Social Research Institute report calls for a greater focus on recruitment and training in the construction sector.
“It’s something that CEOs and business leaders discuss with me,” said Mr. Varadkar.
“There are indications that the start of construction for new houses and apartments in particular is slowing down. That is cause for concern.”
While the IDA numbers are good news, an expected slowdown in the global economy and the recent surge in the number of firms going bust – up 29 percent from last year, according to Deloitte – could be proverbial canaries in the job coal mine.
https://www.independent.ie/business/jobs/as-tech-giants-wobble-the-ida-is-pinning-job-prospects-on-pharma-42214460.html As tech giants falter, the IDA pins job prospects to the pharmaceutical industry