Chapter 9: Economic Development and Employment
The creation of a strong and resilient economic base providing expanded opportunities for employment and facilitating a good quality of life within vibrant and attractive places to live, work, visit and invest.
The preparation of the 2022-2028 Development Plan takes place within a period of significant economic flux. However, the Economic Social Research Institute (ESRI) Quarterly Economic Commentary Spring 2021 has concluded that the Irish economy is well positioned to recover strongly once the threat from COVID-19 recedes. ESRI forecasts that the Irish economy will grow by 5.2 per cent in 2022 with unemployment falling back to an average of 7.3 per cent for the year, with it unlikely that the unemployment rate will approach its pre-COVID low of 4.7 per cent until 2023 at the earliest.
The Development Plan faces the challenge of responding proactively to circumstance and facilitating a built-in resilience and strength to the County’s economy through providing for attractive places to work and a broad employment base.
This chapter sets out a broad spatial framework for enterprise and employment including the retail strategy for the County. Potential growth sectors are identified, and policies are included to encourage more labour-intensive sectors, promoting compact growth in appropriate locations, while recognising the need for a broad based, inclusive, and resilient economy within the County.