Some 229 new jobs were created in Carlow last year during a record year for Enterprise Ireland, a Fine Gael Deputy has said.
Carlow TD Pat Deering said the 8% increase for the county is excellent news for the local economy, with 22,036 people now employed across the South East Region
Deputy Deering said: "These record results are a great achievement and a testament to the resilience of Irish companies in the context of Brexit as well as our local economy here in Carlow.
"They are particularly welcome in the context of similarly strong results from IDA-supported companies in 2018.
"Fine Gael in government is committed to rural Ireland with almost two thirds of the new jobs created outside of Dublin and all regions recorded increases in employment.
"Almost two thirds of total employment by Enterprise Ireland backed companies is now outside of Dublin and almost 10,000 jobs were created nationally last year.
"These record results are a great achievement and a testament to the resilience of Irish companies in the context of Brexit."
Lifesciences (+8%), Construction (+8%), Electronics (+7%), Primary Meats (+5%) and Food (+3%) were the key performing sectors.
Enterprise Ireland is working intensively on a one-to-one basis with its exporting clients on Brexit contingency plans. In 2018, the agency approved funding of €74m for 535 of its most Brexit-exposed clients.
As part of the agency’s Brexit response, the organisation is announcing a major drive to support Irish exporter diversification including a significant expansion to its overseas offices network in 14 priority markets over the next 18 months to help companies expand beyond the UK.
Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said: "Some 215,207 people are now employed in companies supported by Enterprise Ireland, growing at 4.4% in 2018.
"This is the highest total employment in the 20-year history of the agency.
"As we reach full employment, our focus must shift from getting people back to work to creating sustainable jobs that can deal with new challenges and embrace new technologies.
"The Government’s new Future Jobs plan, which I will launch next month, will guide the next phase of Ireland's economic development and embed the excellent progress we have made since the economic downturn.
"As part of the Government’s Global Ireland 2025 strategy, I allocated an additional €3m to Enterprise Ireland in Budget 2019. This funding will be used to expand the Agency’s global footprint, allowing us to promote Irish capability to even more international buyers."