The number of people employed at firms backed by Enterprise Ireland (EI) rose 5% last year to 218,178, despite the difficult trading environment.

It said 10,841 net new roles were created over the 12 months, down slightly on the record 11,911 jobs added a year previously.

In total, 19,660 positions were generated by companies supported by EI in 2022, but 8,819 jobs were lost in the same period.

The net growth came despite challenging global economic conditions for Irish export-focused companies, caused by the Ukraine war and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

But climbing inflation, soaring energy costs, further supply chain disruption and a tight labour market failed to have major negative consequences for Irish businesses seeking to trade abroad, the results show.

The organisation said employment expanded in all three of its core economic sectors, with technology and services rising 8%, industrial and life sciences increasing 5% and food and sustainability growing by 3%.

"Supporting Irish-owned companies to achieve greater scale and expand their global footprint is a priority for Enterprise Ireland in 2023 and we are committed to supporting Irish companies on their journey to become global leaders in their field," said Leo Clancy, Enterprise Ireland chief executive.

"This will ensure that Irish enterprise continues to create and sustain jobs, providing a platform for strong economic growth into the future."

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Just over two thirds of the total number of new jobs created last year were in areas located outside of the capital, with 147,000 now employed by EI client firms in regional areas.

Particularly strong growth was recorded in the sub-sectors of climate, sustainability and agritech, which saw a 13% jump.

Digital technology employment also rose by 9%, while high tech construction and housing, as well as fintech, financial and business services both expanded by 6%.

Mr Clancy said there is concern among companies about the issue of housing supply, but he added that part of the issue is that so many people want to come and work in Ireland, which is good for the country's future demographic.

"I suppose for us we take huge comfort from the fact that housing is top of the Government's agenda in terms of in terms of the conference even running in parallel with this meeting today hosted by the Taoiseach around how to enable housing supplies," he said.

"We know it's top of the agenda."

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The results were welcomed by the new Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, who said coming on the back of the record year of job creation in 2021, the results for last year show the potential to go from strength to strength.

He said there will be setbacks for Irish businesses this year and has warned against complacency.

But Mr Coveney also said he is excited about the prospects for the economy which is at an exciting time and expressed confidence that 2023 can be another year of growth and expansion.

The new enterprise minister said the country is starting the year from a fantastic place economically.

"If you look at the performance last year, given the challenges that companies faced, it really is quite extraordinary," he said at the Enterprise Ireland results for 2022.

"A net 24,000 jobs in terms of IDA supported companies and net almost 11,000 jobs in terms of Enterprise Ireland supported companies, now over half half a million people employed in terms of IDA and Enterprise Ireland."

"So we have a very strong base of resilient tech orientated, smart, streetwise companies that I believe we can continue to support and build on."

But he added that doing that will not be easy because of the challenges facing firms, which have led to some negative announcements in recent weeks.

"A lot of countries are going into recession this year," he claimed.

"We're not and we're going to work hard to make sure that we don't. I still think we can we can see a year of growth, of expansion, of continued appetite for risk amongst Irish companies."

"And of course we can see new startups, more entrepreneurs, and we can continue to build many of the Irish companies that are currently medium-sized into larger companies on the back of global ambition."

He added that he thinks the net gains will far outweigh the the steps back that the economy has to take to try to adapt and react to decisions that are made in boardrooms a long way from here, but that impact on the Irish economy.

A total of 1,271 overseas contracts were secured by EI clients with its help, while 238 firms entered a new market with its assistance.