Ireland’s multinational sector continues to grow over the last year despite growing economic headwinds.

IDA Ireland expects a positive pipeline for the first half of next year but said it expects the second half to be more “uncertain”.

The number of people directly employed in the multinational sector rose to 301,475, representing a 9% increase on last year’s figures.

There were 32,426 new jobs created in 2022, up from 29,000 last year. The net increase of jobs came to 24,000, which is also up from 17,000 in 2021.

Many multinationals, especially in the tech sector were forced to slim down this year due to interest rate rises and advertisers tightening their belts as inflation soared.

However, other players in the multinational sectors including pharma giants like Pfizer continued to invest in Ireland this year.

The challenging and volatile international environment that we saw in 2021 escalated this year,” said IDA Ireland Interim CEO Mary Buckley.

“In light of that, these annual results are most encouraging and show that investors’ commitment to Ireland remains strong and Ireland’s value proposition as a place to do business remains a compelling one,” she added.

IDA Ireland said 242 investment contracts were agreed this year, which was slightly below last year’s figure of 249.

Just over 100 of these were new-name investments.

Exports of €315bn represented an increase of 8.7% this year.