Report predicts thousands of new jobs over next four years

The EY Economic Eye report forecasts economic growth of nearly 5% in the coming months

Report predicts thousands of new jobs over next four years

File photo shows Dublin city at night, with the River Liffey on the left stretching up past the Ha'penny Bridge | Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The island of Ireland could be in line for more than 236,000 new jobs by 2022.

The EY Economic Eye report is forecasting economic growth of 4.9% percent for the rest of this year – more than three times that forecast for the North.

It also identifies Dublin as the most popular post-Brexit location for UK business.

Some 21 financial services organisations have confirmed plans to move all or some of their operations to the city after Brexit.

That is nearly double the amount heading to the city’s main rival locations.

EY Ireland Chief Economist Professor Neil Gibson says Ireland's impressive growth rate is set to continue, but the Government is still walking a fine line to avoid overspending.

“Our new forecasts do paint a very optimistic picture – particularly around the labour market,” he said.

“We know there are a lot of question marks over how strong the economy actually is around the headline GDP (Gross Domestic Product) question but the job creation is a terrific record.

“We are expecting over 250,000 jobs over the next four or five years.

“So what we are really seeing with a lot of clients is just a refresh of how they are going about finding people.”

Mr Gibson said many UK businesses are “hedging their bets” as uncertainty over what will happen post-Brexit clouds decision making.

He said businesses are, “making sure they have locations in multiple places – but Dublin is coming out considerably ahead,” he said.

“So it is very, very encouraging and we would expect that trend to continue.

“Maybe just slow down slightly because of the rising costs which are putting a little bit of pressure and really exercising policy-makers minds now as they try to find ways to make sure that price does not put Dublin out of competing with some of those other locations.”

EY is warning lawmakers that Dublin risks losing is competiveness and attractiveness for international business if action is not taken ensure there is sufficient housing and infrastructure in place in a timely fashion.

“Property prices in Ireland are continuing to rise,” said Mr Gibson.

“Such is the level of property demand, there is little chance of supply catching up quickly, despite the best efforts of policy-makers - and double digit rises for 2018 and 2019 look likely.

“The current rate of increase is unsustainable and it is already damaging competitiveness, with inner city rental costs a particular concern.”