Employment at foreign multinational companies in Ireland fell by 0.3% in the year to end-October in the first annual decline in over a decade as tech layoffs offset jobs growth in every other sector, the state investment agency said on Friday.

Ireland is hugely reliant on foreign multinationals, which have almost doubled their workforce in the last decade.

That number fell to 300,583 from 301,475 in the year to end-October, making up around 11.3% of the entire labour market.

The agency, IDA Ireland, said it still won slightly more new investments in the last 12 months than a year earlier, enabling the creation of almost 19,000 jobs.

However those investments led to fewer jobs than the record 32,426 added in 2022 and was the lowest annual total since 2016.

The numbers employed in the information and communications services sector fell by 2.9% after a number of big employers including Meta, Accenture and Stripe laid off Irish staff as part of global cutbacks.

Job growth was recorded across all other sectors, which IDA said underscored the importance of diversification as it seeks to attract new investment to Ireland. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely)