At a time when job losses are at a high in the first recession since 1983 a ray of light came for 69 people who gained employment in the Mayo Gaeltacht in 2009.
However, when job losses are taken into account, overall employment declined by 131 jobs in comparison with the previous year, according to an tÚdarás na Gaeltachta end of year review. A large number of these job losses arose from the closure of Eurotel Marketing Ltd and Caidéal MP Teo in Tuar Mhic Éadaigh. Many job losses occurred as a result of companies reducing their workforce in a drastic effort to sustain business, a lot of which were construction related.
The main job losses in Údarás support companies occurred as a result of Gaeltacht enterprises restructuring, downsizing, or cutting costs to maintain competitiveness. Many Údarás-supported companies deferred expansion and capital investment plans. The fact that a large number of losses were due to companies shedding jobs in an attempt to sustain their business rather than going for closures is encouraging, the review has stated.
But an tÚdarás believes that many of the jobs lost in the past year may be regained in due course as those companies reposition themselves and capitalise on the recovery.
Gaeltacht companies faced challenges which mirrored those faced by other companies in the Irish economy during 2009. The lack of access to business credit, the sustained pressure of weak exchange rates which eroded profitability margins, and the fall-off in global markets continued to create difficulties for companies. The figures show that employment in the services industries and modern manufacturing continued to increase during the year whereas enterprises in the construction related and traditional manufacturing sectors continued to decline.
A total of 733 people were employed in Údaras-assisted companies in the Mayo Gaeltacht at the end of the year.