Economic Diversity

Economic Diversity

 “Economic growth does not happen evenly. It proceeds in surges and pauses. A regional centre is particularly attractive to inward investment during surges, when the primary centre is most likely to be experiencing high congestion costs.”  Nicholas Mansergh; Atlas of Cork City (Eds. Crowley, Devoy, Linehan and O’Flanagan), p432

Economic Diversity - Policy

Ireland’s economy has markedly improved since the height of the economic crisis and is now experiencing a positive economic outlook. The European Commission has estimated that Ireland will be the fastest growing economy in Europe in 2016, predicting GDP growth of 4.9% compared to Eurozone average of 1.6% growth.   However, a series of persistent challenges are highlighted most notably the persistently high levels of long-term unemployed and the high rate of youth unemployment. An ESRI Research Bulletin, Impact of the Great Recession on Unemployed Youth and NEET Individuals, indicates that young males and non-Irish national youths are more likely to be unemployed since the economic crisis. Both this report and the NESC report, Jobless Households: An Exploration of the Issues, emphasise the urgent provision of affordable and high-quality childcare as being of critical importance to assisting single parents and low-income families’ access or return to the job market.

The IDA Horizon 2020 Strategy focuses on attracting global services, high-end manufacturing and research and development and innovation. The IDA strategy includes specific targets for inward investment to areas outside of Dublin – including a target of 30-40% increase in projects for Cork and Kerry. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s (DJEI) Action Plan for Jobs (APJ) 2015 seeks to bring overall employment to 2.1 million people by 2018 through supporting private sector-led, export-oriented economic growth, through the delivery of 382 separate actions.  Building on this, the Action Plan for Jobs for the South West 2015-2017 core aim is to develop the full potential of the Cork and Kerry region, for enterprise and job creation, building upon its assets and areas of competitive advantage. The primary objective of this Plan is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in the region by 2020 and to ensure the unemployment rate is within 1 per cent of the State average.

Cork has a diverse economy with a high level of overseas investment - close to 150 overseas companies employ 28,500 people in Cork.  Many of these companies are located in the city and surrounding Cork metropolitan area. The wider Cork region is home to seven of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies and a Life Sciences sector comprising 35 overseas companies. Global Business Services and International Financial Services, such as BNY, Tyco, and Amazon, further add to Cork’s economic strength and diversity.  Cork’s strong technology sector includes over fifty FDI Technology.  Overseas investment in the city was further boosted throughout 2015 with a series of major investment announcements including Apple’s addition of 1,000 employs to their current 5,000 employee European HQ campus in Hollyhill, as well as the establishment of global, European and EMEA HQs for companies like Tyco, eSentire, Netigate and Malwarebytes. 

In order to achieve a sustainable enterprise base Cork’s strong track record in attracting overseas investment must be balanced by a similar growth of indigenous companies.   The development of clusters such as it@cork, energy Cork and IMERC and increased links between businesses and research centres are all helping to enhance the performance of innovative local companies.  Start-ups also play an important role in economic recovery and Cork has a well developed business start up ecosystem.  In November entrepreneurs from around the world will meet in Cork for the Global Start-Up Nations Summit – the first time this event has taken place in Europe. In addition, major new office and retail developments in the City Centre, together with a sports stadium (under construction), the recently commenced 6,000 seat events centre and port redevelopment, all show that Cork City is heavily contributing to Ireland’s economic recovery.

Economic Diversity - Stats and Facts

Nearly 40% of the total jobs in Cork City in 2011 were provided by one of 33 of the City’s largest employers.

In 2011, there were 4,331 businesses located in the city, providing 71,577 jobs (Source: Cork City Employment & Land Use Survey, 2011).  96% of these businesses employed less than 50 employees, with the remaining 4% employing between 50 -4000 employees. However, 38% of jobs were provided by 33 employers (each with +250 employees).

There were 55,328 persons in the labour force in Cork City in 2011, representing 46.4% of its population. 30,323 of these are males and 25,005 are females. Over 26% of the labour force living in the city is employed in Professional Services, 23% work in Commerce and Trade, 9% in Transport and Communications and 5% are employed in Public Administration.  Manufacturing is the third most common industry in the city, employing 14% of the working population. The manufacturing industry has proved resilient, with the proportion of persons employed increasing by 56% since 2006.

The majority of Corks city's resident workforce has non manual (30%), low professional (15%) or employers & management (13%) occupations. More than half (61%) of the City’s residents use private transport to get to work (car, van, etc.), with 9% using public transport. 39% having a third level education or higher. The majority of jobs located in Cork City are in education (30%), retail, trade and sales (24%) and IT & professional services (18%).  The large majority (77%) of people working in the City use private transport (car, van, etc.) to get to work, with 6% using public transport. Over 45% having a third level education or higher.