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Over one million jobs supported by Irish multinationals abroad
Pic: Shutterstock

30 Aug 2021 / business Print

Irish multinationals back one million jobs abroad

A total of 1,168,733 jobs were supported by Irish multinationals abroad, in 2019, with 33.2% of them in the US or the UK.

Irish multinationals abroad had turnover of almost €256 billion, with US and UK affiliates accounting for 56.6% of this figure, new CSO statistics show.

Employment in Irish affiliates in the UK increased by 4,845, or 4.0% from 2018 to 2019, while turnover decreased by 5.0%.

Employment in Irish affiliates in the US increased by 29,773, or 12.8%, while turnover increased by 8.0%.

Irish affiliates in Germany, France and the Netherlands together accounted for 6.8% of those employed in Irish multinationals abroad in 2019, while affiliates in these three countries accounted for 10.6% of turnover.

The CSO’s Outward Foreign Affiliates Statistics (OFATS) cover the activities of Irish multinationals abroad and the latest figures allow analysis of the sectoral and geographical composition of the affiliates controlled by Irish multinationals.

However, the CSO points out that care should be taken when analysing the figures as the register of Irish multinationals abroad can be subject to significant change in the short term.

An enterprise is deemed to be Irish owned if over 50% of its controlling interest is in Ireland.


The population of foreign affiliates is subject to fluctuation based on international market conditions and the buying and selling of affiliates by Irish multinationals.

Any enterprise that redomiciles their controlling operations to Ireland will have a bearing on the results, provided the above criteria are satisfied, as it would from that point be considered an Irish enterprise.

In terms of employment in Irish multinationals abroad by continent, America, Asia and Europe each accounted for around a third of total employed.

Italy and Canada show highest percentage growth of employment in Irish affiliates.

Between 2018 and 2019, Irish affiliates in Italy had an increase of 31.1% in persons engaged and 23.0% in turnover.

Canada had the second largest increase in employees, at 26.2% and saw an increase of 9.3% in turnover.


Aside from the UK and the US, several other countries had a significant contribution to turnover and employment in 2019, with employment of over 38,600 in China, over 34,300 in Germany, almost 30,000 in Brazil and over 28,600 in France.

Employment levels rose in all countries, except for the Netherlands, Germany and China which had declines of 17.6%, 4.7% and 2.0% respectively.

In terms of turnover, affiliates in Germany and France accounted for over €10 billion each, while Japan accounted for over €7.25 billion.

Irish-owned affiliates in Japan showed growth of 15% in turnover, while those in the Netherlands decreased by 13.4%.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland