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Bloomberg | Dublin Is Bursting at the Seams

Google Inc.’s European headquarters, center, viewed from the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin.Photogrpaher: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Conall Laverty, who raised over $1 million for his Dublin-based startup, jokes that his mother still wants to know when he’s going to get a real job — maybe at Google or one of the other technology giants scattered across the city.

U.S. companies flooding into Ireland now employ, either directly or indirectly, about one in five workers in the country. Last month, Facebook Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc. unveiled plans to hire 2,500 more people in Dublin. With these global behemoths dominating Dublin, boosting wages and other costs, it’s become tricky for startups like Laverty’s Wia to fill vacancies.

It’s tough,” Laverty, 29, said, sitting in a cafe in Dublin a few minutes’ stroll from where Salesforce is due to build a new tower. The influx is “good from a pool-of-talent perspective, bad from a compensation perspective,” he said.

There’s a wider sense of the city bursting at the seams and struggling to cope with the flow of international business even before a significant impact is felt from Brexit. Wages are rising and office rents and apartment prices are surging. Dublin is showing traces of what has been dubbed the “Mayfair” effect, where an influx of hedge funds into the tony London district squeezed out local businesses and residents.

“Dublin, just like every other major European city, has challenges it must overcome to continue growing,” said Mary Rose Burke, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, even as she welcomed Salesforce’s announcement. “Housing is the biggest issue currently facing businesses in the Dublin region.”

The boom is most apparent in the city’s docklands, traditionally home to financial firms such as Citigroup Inc. The financial firms have been joined by companies including Google, which employs about 5,000 people nearby. Apartment renters in the area earned an average of 118,000 euros ($135,000) last year, according to real estate brokerage Owen Reilly. That’s more than three times average earnings nationwide.

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Bloomberg , Friday, February 1st, 2019