Apple’s subsidiary in Ireland handles distribution of products to the European markets, manages the supply chain and is primarily involved in white collar operations. In the next 18 months, Apple’s Irish employment will grow from 2,800 to 3,300. It is good news for Ireland, which has a 14.3% unemployment rate and has gone from being the strongest economy in Europe to having a national debt equal to 1165% of its GDP, the second highest in Europe.
Ireland has been attracting tech companies because of their low corporate tax rate and English-speaking, well-educated workforce. Both Facebook and Google have facilities in Ireland, and the generic drug company Mylan is planning to hire 500 Irish workers soon. It is a good location for managing the flow of raw materials, parts and products. But, Ireland puts a lie to the idea that it is union wages that keep companies out of America. For basic manufacturing, companies do favor places where they can hire someone for pennies a day, but for more advanced jobs it is not wages that make the difference as much as education systems and nationalized health systems.