More than 1,000 new jobs were created by Enterprise Ireland in Galway last year – a record new high for the agency.
Companies in the city and county which are supported by the agency created a total of 1,044 jobs in 2017.
That brings the total amount of jobs from Enterprise Ireland backed companies in Galway to 8,103.
The net increase (job gains less the losses) was 707, which represents a net increase of 10% year-on-year.
The previous record had been set in 2016, when EI created 836 jobs, representing a net gain of 434. In 2015, the net gain was 433.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said: “The results are consistent with the strong employment performance across the economy. I am very pleased to see this strong level of job creation delivered for Galway by EI backed companies.
“The priority of my Department, through Enterprise Ireland is to support companies in Galway and right across the country to continue to build on this strong job creation performance.
“Whatever the outcome of the complex Brexit negotiations that lie ahead, it is vital that as a country we are ready and the Government continues to take initiatives to bolster the capacity of our enterprise agencies to drive exports and support investment.
“In recent months, Enterprise Ireland, through funding from my Department, has launched new measures to strengthen the rural and regional economy, and to provide quicker access to innovation funding for exporting companies.
Nationally, a total of 19,332 new jobs (10,309 net, up 5%) were created by EI companies last year, bringing the total employment created by the agency here to 209,338.
In 2017, there were net gains of 3,044 jobs in Dublin; 1,372 in Cork; 664 in Limerick and 427 in Tipperary.
EI Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon said: “Despite the challenge and uncertainty created by Brexit, Irish companies have continued to win sales around the world that have supported this strong job creation across all of the regions of Ireland.
“At Enterprise Ireland, our strategy ‘Build Scale, Expand Reach 2017-2020’ is focused on transforming the innovation and competitive capabilities of Irish enterprise, to expand the global reach of ambitious Irish companies into diversified export markets and we are pleased with the results of the first year of our new strategy.
“It is imperative, however, that Irish businesses continue to build on the strength of their 2017 performance and implement robust plans to prepare for the impact of Brexit.”
Minister of State for International Development and Galway East Deputy Ciarán Cannon described the figures as “excellent news”.
“These results are excellent news for Galway and are consistent with the strong employment performance across the economy. I am very pleased to see this strong level of job creation delivered for Galway by Government-backed companies.
“Fine Gael’s priority is to support companies here in Galway and right across the country to continue to build on this strong job creation performance. We are committed to strengthening our communities through creating employment, and building a sustainable future for all our citizens.
“Our regional Action Plan for Jobs is an excellent example of government agencies like Enterprise Ireland, local authorities, the Local Enterprise Offices and businesses working together to tackle regional issues. These results mark another step in the right direction for our regional plans.
“Job creation was evenly spread across the country, with every county seeing job increases. Two thirds (64%) of the new jobs created were outside of Dublin. We have seen strong jobs growth in the Construction, Engineering, Life-sciences, Digital Technology, Electronics, Food and ICT sectors across the country. The Action Plan for Rural Development which launched last year is committed to ensuring that the economic recovery is felt throughout Ireland and the creation of rural jobs is vital in order to achieve this,” said Minister Cannon.