IDA Ireland Announces Results for 2021 with Highest Increase in FDI Employment in a Single Year

More Posts

Cemetery Grant 2023

Westmeath County Council has prepared a grant scheme to assist community groups in the management and maintenance of local cemeteries and is now inviting applications

Sick Leave Act 2022

The Sick Leave Act has come into effect from 1 January 2023 and creates a new entitlement for employees to paid sick leave from their

Performance 2021

  • Numbers directly employed in multinational sector in Ireland reach 275,384 – the highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) employment level ever
  • Substantial growth in FDI in 2021 with highest employment creation figures ever in a single year despite the continued impact of Covid-19
  • 29,000+ new jobs created in 2021
  • A net increase of almost 17,000 jobs year on year
  • Results achieved in a challenging and volatile international environment
  • 249 investments won in 2021 – 104 of them new name investments
  • 53% – 133 of the 249 of investments won went to regional locations – with employment growth in every region of the country
  • FDI employment has experienced staircase growth for over a decade despite turbulent global environment – IDA CEO


  • Recovery in global FDI started to take hold over course of 2021, however significant uncertainties and risks persist
  • “Sustaining Ireland’s FDI performance requires a continued focus on capacity constraints and competitiveness challenges” – IDA CEO

December 20th 2021, Dublin – IDA Ireland, the inward investment promotion and development agency of the Irish Government, reported a record breaking year for FDI employment with significantly higher levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2021 compared with 2020 and strong gains recorded in both gross and net employment.

Total employment in IDA client companies in Ireland now stands at 275,384, up 16,826 on 2020.  104 of the 249 investments won in 2021 were new name investments, a better than anticipated new name performance considering the ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic.

Growth in employment in 2021 brought the number of people employed in the FDI sector in Ireland to 275,384 from 258,558 last year.  Job losses remained at a relatively modest level relative to the size of the overall portfolio resulting in an extremely strong net employment growth this year – (16,826 net increase).

Growth in regions was particularly buoyant with 53% – 133 projects of the 249 investments won going to regional locations and employment growth recorded in every region of the country.
The strong growth in regional investment was supported by IDA Ireland’s property programme. A robust property and infrastructure ecosystem can be the key differentiator in winning FDI projects, as evidenced by the record regional results achieved under IDA’s Winning 2015-2019 strategy. This positive momentum has been maintained since the commencement of our new strategy.

The 2021 figures show a pattern of sustained, robust growth in FDI investment and FDI-related employment over a continuous period of more than ten-years. This year’s results represent a strong start to IDA’s new 2021-2024 strategy, Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth, which seeks to further enhance FDI’s place at the centre of a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive Irish economy.

An Tánaiste & Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. said: “These results are quite remarkable. In another year that was unfortunately mired by the pandemic, we saw the highest FDI employment creation figures we’ve ever had in a single year. There are now more people employed in our multinational sector than ever before – 275,384.

I think this demonstrates the strength of our economy and the fortitude of our people. Despite immense challenges, we continue to maintain our reputation as an excellent place to invest. This is a testament to the talent of our workforce and our overall offering as a country.

The success of our multinational sector has allowed us sustain other areas of our economy that are struggling. FDI is central to our economic policy and it will continue to be a crucial part of our plan to rebuild after Covid.

I’m particularly happy to see that over half of all investments won in 2021 went to locations outside of Dublin and had a really good spread nationwide. We will continue to focus on how we can attract investment across all parts of the country.   

Achieving over a decade of consistent FDI growth is a huge accomplishment, given the challenges our country faced during that time; recessions, Brexit and the pandemic among others. Thanks to Martin Shanahan and the IDA Ireland team for their work.”

Click here to read more