Annual Employment Survey 2020 and Annual Business Survey of Economic Impact 2019


Annual Employment Survey 2020:

• Employment in Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Údarás na Gaeltachta supported companies amounted to over 485,903 jobs in 2020, their highest ever level, accounting for one third of total business employment in Ireland.

• Total employment in agency client companies increased by 1.7% since 2019, an increase of 7,453 jobs.

ABSEI 2019:

• During 2019, sales, exports, value added, and direct expenditures in the Irish economy all showed strong growth for both Irish and foreign-owned companies.

• Agencies have commenced survey of client companies for 2020 with all results expected early 2022.

Tuesday 20 April, 2021

There were 269,208 employed in the foreign-owned and 216,695 in Irish-owned agency assisted companies in 2020. Employment in foreign-owned firms increased by 3.5% since 2019, with 9,017 additional jobs. In Irish-owned firms, employment decreased by 0.7%, a decrease of 1,564 jobs since 2019.

By sector, among foreign-owned companies, the fastest growing sectors were in services. ICT Services increased its share of full-time employment from 32.0% to 38.2% between 2011-2020, so that it is now well over a third of total foreign-owned employment in the country. Business, Financial and Other Services have marginally increased from 13.6% to 17.0%. Food, Drink and Tobacco dropped from 5.4% to 3.1%. Among Irish-owned firms, Business, Financial and Other Services increased from 18.9% to 20.3% of full-time employment and ICT services increased from 12.4% to 14.1%. Therefore, at 34.3%, the Services sectors have increased their share to just over one third. Among Irish-owned firms Total Industry has declined from 68.7% to 65.7% and Food, Drink & Tobacco has declined the from 25.2% to 22.9%.

Growth in employment was recorded in all eight regions between 2011-2020 although there were variations among the regions. Over 61% of full-time employment in foreign-owned companies was in the Dublin (44.0%) and South West (17.3%) regions. The regions with the highest employment growth since 2011 were Dublin at 80.5% and the Mid-West at 66.8%. For Irish-owned firms, 46.4% of full-time employment was in the Dublin (32.5%) and South West (14.1%) regions. Employment growth was highest in the Mid-West and Dublin regions since 2011, with 55.3% and 52.5% growth respectively.

In 2019, sales, exports, value added, and direct expenditures in the Irish economy all showed strong growth for both Irish and foreign-owned companies.

Agency client companies reported a rise in sales and exports in 2019 over the previous year.  This continues a substantial upward trend in results following the downturn in the economy in 2009.

  • Total sales amounted to €315.3 billion in 2019 which represents an increase of 9.9% in current prices on the previous year’s figure of €286.9 billion.
  • Total exports in 2019 amounted to €282.9 billion, an increase of 10.4% on the previous year of €256.5 billion, with 91.4% of these exports being from foreign-owned enterprises. 
  • Value added (sales less materials and services costs) has also increased over this time-series and in 2019 amounted to €116.1 billion, up 15.2% on the previous year with 87.0% of this increase attributable to the foreign owned IT services sector.
  • Direct Expenditure in the Irish Economy (Payroll, Irish Materials, Irish Services) has increased over 2018 by 8.0% to €54.3 billion in 2019. The level of direct expenditure in the Irish economy by foreign-owned client companies was €27.3 billion and €26.9 billion for Irish-owned client companies.
  • Training per person employed for 2019 is €518, a slight increase from €509 in 2018. Irish firms spent €537 on training per person employed and foreign firms spent €479 in 2019.

Tánaiste Varadkar said:

“The results from this survey show that our agencies – Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Údarás na Gaeltachta, showed remarkable resilience in the face of immense challenges during 2020. The pandemic has had a devasting impact on hundreds of thousands of workers. However, this impact has been disproportionate and unfair with heavy job losses in some sectors such as retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment, while some sectors were relatively protected and some even grew, as these figures show. The Government will continue to help those businesses that are struggling, while also investing in bringing new jobs to Ireland through our agencies.”

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment co-ordinates these surveys of the client companies of the enterprise development agencies (Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta). The results are presented by company ownership in terms of Irish and foreign-owned firms.

The indicators collected include annual sales and exports and payroll, materials and services costs. Data collected in 2019 and 2020 is merged with results of previous surveys to provide trend data and indicators are available by ownership and sector and are used by the agencies in their annual reports and end-of-year statements.

Notes for Editors

The Annual Business Survey of Economic Impact report is available at Annual Business Survey of Economic Impact 2019

The Annual Employment Survey report is available at Annual Employment Survey 2020


This website uses cookies in order to improve the site and user experience. By continuing to use it, you agree to our Privacy Policy.