Ibec publishes latest Local Economic Indicators report
Ibec has published a comprehensive new report measuring data from local authorities across Ireland, providing insights across a range of categories including local enterprise, population, housing and more.
2 October 2018 | 0
One of the most talked-about long-term effects of the recession was the damage it caused to small businesses in rural and local areas around Ireland as businesses became unsustainable due to a range of effects including lack of finance, infrastructure, government policy and in some cases, simply not enough of a population to drive the business.
As part of the effort to rebuild these areas and make them more sustainable in the long-term, Ibec has published Local Economic Indicators 2018: Doing Business Locally. The annual report measures data from across eight regions and in all 31 local authorities, providing insights for future policy planning in relation to eight categories: population, housing, skills, broadband, travel/commuting, tourism, local enterprise development and local government finances.
Ibec’s public sector and regulatory executive Aidan Sweeney said that the objective of the report is to make Ireland a better place to live and work. “We want to sustain economic growth,” Sweeney said, “and ensure that it can be better shared across the country, all regions across the country must offer strong quality of life and employment opportunities.
“Regional and individual local data breakdowns provide unique economic and social insights,” Sweeney said. “This allows us to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the economy at a local level across a range of areas.
Some of the key findings of the Local Economic Indicators 2018 include:
- Companies locating where talented workers want to live, not the other way around: Quality of life factors such as the availability and affordability in housing is a growing determinant of our ability to compete internationally.
- Ireland’s talent pool remains our key global competitive advantage: 43% of the labour force is educated to at least degree level. This varies substantially across regions and local areas. In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, over seven in every ten people in the labour force have completed at least a level 7 degree, but only three of every ten in Cavan hold a degree.
- Skilled workforce, production of STEM graduates and innovation essential to regional productivity: It is not surprising the that highest concentration of STEM-graduates Galway City, Cork City and across Dublin but Monaghan has the lowest.
- Northern and Western region most dependent on the National Broadband Plan: Over 50% of premises in Leitrim are dependent on the National Broadband Plan (NBP), with Monaghan (48%) and Roscommon (47%) second and third highest in terms of NBP dependency.
- Accessibility to ports and airports for high quality international connectivity: The North West ranks the lowest in the country in terms of travel time to a State airport or major Tier 1 or 2 designated port. This plays a significant role in making the region appear inaccessible.
- Work must continue on improving road connectivity and road quality locally: Poorly maintained local authority roads can have a significant impact on local competitiveness. Galway City is the best local authority and the Mid West the best region in terms of road quality with the worst local authority area being Fingal and the Midlands region.
- Invest in public transport to tackle excessive commuting times: Almost one in three people have a daily commute of 30 minutes to an hour each way. However, the most extreme cases exist in the counties immediately bordering Dublin (Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) where one out of every five people spends a minimum of two hours every day commuting.
- Coastal cities and regions generate highest overseas revenue from tourism: Approximately 45% of overseas tourist spend occurs in the nine counties of the Wild Atlantic Way, which shows the benefit collaborative-initiatives can have on the local economy. Dublin and Cork alone generated more revenue than every other county combined.
- Local job creation should focus on a mix of FDI, indigenous companies and entrepreneurship: With approximately 2,700 jobs per 10,000 of the labour force, Cork performs strongest in terms of IDA and Enterprise Ireland-supported jobs.
- Commercial rates impact on local business conditions and cost competitiveness: In 2018 business contributions will directly account for €1.51 billion or 35% of the total local government budget. Dublin’s four local authorities have the highest average rates bill for local businesses.