Category: Archive

Business Briefs Record numbers at work

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

Last year, the number of people at work in Ireland exceeded 1.5 million for the first time. And the country’s unemployment rate, long hovering stubbornly in the teens, fell to 6.4 percent.

The quarterly national household survey, carried out by the Central Statistics Office, found that the numbers employed in the September to November quarter last year were 72,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of men employed rose by 47,000, while the number of women was up by 25,000.

Almost all of the increase was accounted for by full-time workers.

As expected, the Irish government was delighted with the figures, describing them as marking a historic milestone in Irish economic life.

"Ten years ago, we were looking at unemployment rates as high as 17 percent," the government’s chief whip, Seamus Brennan, said.

Follow us on social media

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo

There were, however, notes of caution. The director of the Central Statistics Office, Gerry O’Hanlon, pointed out that a substantial share of the overall decline in unemployment was due to a fall of 23,000 in the number of people, mainly women, who were recorded as seeking part-time work.

And although the figures pointed to the possibility of labor-supply shortages, the Irish National Organization for the Unemployed said that Ireland’s unemployment problem was by no means solved as there were still 106,000 people actively seeking work.

AIB stock split

Readers of the Irish Echo’s "Stock Watch" who hold AIB American depository shares could be forgiven for being momentarily alarmed last week when they saw that the bank’s American depository receipts had apparently fallen by almost 62 points since the previous week. The reality of the situation, however, was that AIB stock had split 3:1 and, when this was taken into consideration, the stock, in actuality, had only fallen 1.10.

AIB, with operations in Ireland, Britain, the U.S. and Poland, changed the number of ordinary shares represented by one American depository share from six to two. To effect this change in ratio, holders of record as of the close of business on May 13 received two additional American depository shares for every one American depository share held. New ADSs were issued by the Bank of New York, AIB’s depository bank, on May 14. The change increased the number of ADSs outstanding from approximately 22 million to approximately 66 million.

Frank Bramble, chairman and chief executive officer of AIB’s U.S. division and its principal subsidiary, First Maryland Bancorp., said the modification was made to provide greater liquidity for investors and to broaden access to the American depository shares.

"The objective is to help grow U.S. shareholders as we continue to pursue our operating strategies and grow our businesses," he said.

AIB Group employs more than 24,000 people worldwide in more than 900 offices and has 66,000 shareholders. The AIB bank division operates in 317 locations in the Republic of Ireland, in addition to those in Northern Ireland, Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

AIB’s U.S. division includes First Maryland Bancorp, a bank holding company headquartered in Baltimore which is changing its name to Allfirst Financial Inc. effective June 28.

First Maryland Bancorp’s principal subsidiary operates more than 250 bank branches and more than 500 ATMs from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland and the District of Colombia and into Northern Virginia under various divisions, including First National Bank of Maryland, Dauphin Deposit Bank and The York Bank.

Pub winner

Her essay was selected from thousands of entries. Her dart throwing and pint pouring ability topped nine other finalists. As a result, Erika Lee, 27, from Tigard, Oregon, was recently chosen as the victor of the Guinness Win Your Own Pub in Ireland contest and received the keys to J. O"Sullivan’s Pub in Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick.

Lee is the sixth U.S. resident to win a pub in the annual Guinness competition.

Quarter million site

A 1.3-acre housing site near Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, was sold recently for more than a quarter million pounds.

The site, with full planning permission for 10 detached houses, is close to all amenities and overlooks the N4 national primary road from Dublin to Sligo.

According to local firm Farrell Estate Agents, bidding opened at £100,000 and continued briskly in £20,00 bids up to £260,000. The property was then withdrawn at this figure and subsequently sold to the highest bidder, whose name was not disclosed.

May 26-June 1, 1999

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese