Republic may reach full employment soon despite Brexit says Paschal Donohoe

The south's finance minister Paschal Donohoe

THE Republic may return to 'full employment' by next year despite Brexit, finance minister Paschal Donohoe has said as the government seeks banking jobs from London firms.

Paschal Donohoe said the government is vying to win further banking jobs as London-based operations seek to keep a foothold in the European Union after Brexit.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York, he said: "We have between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs associated with financial services at the moment. That's a figure we believe we can grow."

Dublin could gain as many as 15,000 financial jobs when the UK leaves the EU, according to estimates from Goodbody Stockbrokers.

This could help offset the impact of Brexit. The Republic is the EU member state most exposed to Brexit because about 15 per cent of its exports go to the UK.

Returning to full employment – which means virtually all of those who are able and willing to work are employed – would mark one of the last stages of recovery from the Republic's economic crisis a decade ago, when the jobless rate rose to over 15 per cent.

Unemployment dropped to six per cent last month, according to figures from the south's Central Statistics Office.

The Republic is also pitching to host the European Banking Authority, which is being forced from London after Brexit, competing with cities such as Vienna and Frankfurt.

"I'm confident we are going to put a good case forward, but like any election, if you indicate confidence, you are halfway to losing," Mr Donohoe said.

"It's up to our colleagues and friends in other states to decide how to vote."

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