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Irish firms employ 1.2 million overseas
Pic: Shutterstock

17 Aug 2022 / business Print

Irish firms employ 1.2m people overseas

Irish-owned multi-national companies employed more than 1.2 million people abroad in 2020, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Despite the impact of the pandemic in that year, the employment figure was up 3% compared with 2019.

More than one-fifth of those employed by Irish firms were in the US, with the UK accounting for around 10%.

China figure rises

The number of people working for Irish firms in China rose by almost 17% to 45,000, according to the figures.

France, Germany, and the Netherlands combined make up just over 6% of the employment numbers.

By continent, Asia, the Americas, and Europe (including Russia) each accounted for around one-third of the total number of people working for Irish companies overseas.

The CSO deems an enterprise to be Irish-owned if more than 50% of its controlling interest is in Ireland.


The effects of COVID-19 restrictions were, however, seen on turnover, with a figure of €238 billion representing a 7% drop compared with 2019.

The services sector – excluding distribution – accounted for just over one-third of the total turnover, and for 56% of those employed by Irish firms abroad.

The CSO warns that the figures are subject to fluctuation, due to international market conditions, and the buying and selling of affiliates by Irish multi-nationals.

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