IDA Ireland said today that it continues to monitor the situation in the global technology sector and is actively engaged with its technology client base here.
"We remain in close contact with the Tánaiste and officials in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment," the IDA said in reaction to job losses announced by technology companies in recent days.
IDA Ireland described as 'regrettable' the recent redundancies at the companies.
The IDA said the global macroeconomic environment has become increasingly uncertain in recent months due to a number of factors, including rising interest rates, inflation and volatile energy markets.
"Challenges have been felt more sharply in Technology than in other business sectors, after a period of sustained growth for many years," the agency said in today's statement.
"Growth rates accelerated for many technology companies during the pandemic as consumers moved rapidly online and as businesses sought to increase the pace of their digitalisation efforts," it stated.
"Now, after this period of rapid hiring and jobs growth, companies find that they need to reduce their costs and employee numbers in line with reduced revenue forecasts and weakening company valuations," it said.
IDA said that growth in employment in 2021 brought the number of people employed in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sector in Ireland to 275,384, up from 258,558 in 2020.
Meanwhile, job losses remained at a relatively modest level relative to the size of the overall portfolio resulting in extremely strong net employment growth last year - with a net increase of 16,826 jobs.
"That investment growth continued in the first half of 2022, returning FDI employment creation plans to above the pre-pandemic 2019 record levels, despite a continuing challenging global environment," it added.
IDA Ireland's interim CEO Mary Buckley said the technology base in Ireland has been building for over 60 years and will continue to grow in the future - despite the current challenges.
"The companies that have announced job losses in recent days will continue to operate in Ireland and are important companies in the global and Irish ecosystem," Ms Buckley said.
"IDA's focus is on the continued partnership with these companies to continue to grow their presence in Ireland and deepen their impact on the Irish economy," she said.
"The underlying strength in the technology sector is driven by a number of factors, including the pace of digitalisation - across all sectors - and the associated need for new digital infrastructure and services," she added.
Mary Buckley said that as it has done during the adverse events of recent years, IDA is working closely with its client companies.
"The agency continues to win new investment in those sectors of focus that underpin a modern economy including Technology, Financial Services and Life Sciences," she said.
"We remain attuned to new areas of opportunity for Ireland in an evolving investment landscape as well as exploring emerging areas of opportunity, ranging from digital technologies and microelectronics to advanced therapy medicinal products and developments in the renewable energy sector," she added.
She also said that investors' commitment to Ireland remains strong and Ireland's value proposition as a place to do business remains a compelling one.
Global trends suggest there could be further layoffs in the tech sector, but its long term growth in Ireland is "stable", IDA Ireland's head of technology, consumer and business Dónal Travers said today.
Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Travers said that Ireland remains a "stable, important and strategic" location for tech companies.
He said Ireland's tech sector is expected to grow by over 5% in 2023.
But he cautioned that there clearly are headwinds out there.
"Companies will be impacted from time to time but from a technology perspective, the tech sector here has been here for a long, long time, and it will be here for a long, long time," Mr Travers said.
"The growth prospects are very good. Just last month, Gartner, which is probably the most respected forecaster of tech trends said that the tech sector will grow by over 5% in 2023," he said.
"That speaks very favourably to the tech base and the clients in Ireland that we support," he added.
Mr Travers also said that further layoffs in the tech sector are likely.
"I think it'd be hard to say with any degree of certainty what level of layoffs will come, but in the context of headwinds and trends in the global economy that are being talked about, I think we will see further layoffs," he said.
He said that if you look at the recent layoffs that have been announced, the share that Ireland is taking is consistent with what has been taking in other parts of the world, in their offices in San Francisco, London or Paris or Berlin or wherever.
"So, I don't see a huge impact in Ireland or at least an impact beyond anywhere else in the world," he added.
Mr Travers also said the Irish tech sector has been growing consistently for the last 20-60 years.
"We're at a stage now where there's a moment that clients are taking stock and reducing the cost base globally. Ireland is taking its share of that and that will result in some job losses among some for clients," he said.
While layoffs in the sector are in the region of 10-15% of global workforces, and the number here is yet to be confirmed, "Ireland will be taking its share, same as any other locations," he stated.
Mr Travers said he did not think the number of job losses would be higher than "several hundred".
"This is a this is an industry that's been building successfully for over 60 years. There will be stages in that growth when there are moments like this where there is a little bit of contraction, but in the long term, the growth is very solid," he added.