19/12/2001

Job difficulties for the 'Celtic Tiger'

The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) in the Republic of Ireland has reported a net loss in jobs provided by foreign companies for the first time in 15 years.

Figures from the IDA showed that 13,000 jobs have been created during 2001 by IDA-supported enterprises, however in the same period about 17,000 had been lost.

A worldwide downturn in the hi-tech sector has been blamed for the reverse in numbers, which has worsened in the past month ever since IDA executives forecast that job gains would match those lost by the years end.

To make matters worse the agency said the overall jobs creation picture was unlikely to change by the end of the year. However it did report strong growth in the fields of healthcare, pharmaceuticals and financial and internationally-traded services. (MB)

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