Making Cork a better place to live and work

Pictured l-r: Deputy Aindreas Moynihan TD, Deputy Sean Sherlock TD, James Winters Ibec Cork Regional President, Minister David Stanton TD and Des O’Sullivan, Dell EMC. (Pic: Cathal Noonan)

Local Economic Indicators 2018 is an evidenced-based report compiled annually from publicly available data from across Cork City and Cork County.

It provides insights for future policy planning in relation to eight categories: population, housing, skills, broadband, travel / commuting, tourism, local enterprise development and local government finances.

Speaking at the launch of the report this week, Ibec Cork Regional President, James Winters, said Ibec’s ambition is to make Cork a better place in which to live and work. “To sustain economic growth and ensure that it can be better shared across the country, the city and county must offer strong quality of life and employment opportunities.

“Regional and individual local data breakdowns provide unique economic and social insights. This allows us to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the economy at a local level across a range of areas. We can also see how we compare to other regions and local authority areas.”

Some of the key findings of the Local Economic Indicators 2018 for Cork include:

• Cork City ranks 3rd nationally in terms of having highest concentration of STEM-graduates, which underpins the innovative activity taking place locally.

• Cork ranks 1st in terms of access to port and airport infrastructure, key to regional resilience due to accessibility and high quality international connectivity

• Cork County has the 2nd highest labour force participation rate (68%) but Cork City has the lowest participation rate (58%) nationally.

• Cork is 1st nationally for IDA-supported jobs and is ahead of Dublin & the Mid East in terms of combined IDA and Enterprise Ireland supported jobs per 10,000 of the labour force.

• Cork has a high dependency on the National Broadband Plan with 28% of homes and businesses unable to access high speed broadband.

• Cork and Dublin together generated more overseas revenue from tourism than all other counties combined.

• Cork City is 5th and Cork County 6th in terms of reliance on local businesses to fund local government finances, this is unsustainable. Cork’s local authorities must diversify their revenue base. Rebalancing the burden away from commercial rates would support local job creation, particularly in the SME community.