The number of jobs approved by multinational companies here has risen by just over a fifth in the first half of the year, compared to the same time last year.

According to IDA Ireland, 11,000 new positions were approved by its client firms between January and the end of June, compared to 9,100 in the first half of 2016.

However, the level of financial investment has remained flat year on year, the agency said.

Among the larger announcements during the six month period were 600 positions at Microsoft in Dublin, 500 at in Dublin, 400 at Northern Trust in Limerick and 330 at MSD in Carlow and Cork.

Other companies announcing investments included 100 jobs at Element Six in Clare, Pitney Bowes in Dublin, AlienVault in Cork, BorgWarner in Kerry and Red Hat in Waterford.

In total 114 projects were won during the period, with the strongest performing sectors being the content and business services, life sciences, technology and financial services.

The organisation does not record the number of jobs lost at client companies at the mid-year point.

According to the IDA, while the majority of the initial discussions with companies thinking of relocating here due to Brexit had been in the area of financial services, a growing number of enquiries are now coming from other sectors.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, said Ireland will have to remain competitive if it wants to continue to win a large share of fresh investments.

In particular he referenced housing availability and cost, as well as personal taxation, as areas that require attention if Ireland is to remain attractive. 

He said that geopolitical instability is the main threat that clients see affecting the performance of their business in Ireland over the next two to three years. 

"The twin challenges of both Brexit and a new US administration have presented investors with much to think about. Indications suggest that investors believe the new US administration may have more of an impact than Brexit," he added.

IDA Ireland said the outlook for the remainder of 2017 looks strong, with a survey finding 72% of clients planning to increase their headcount over the next 18 months.