I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. The Action Plan for Rural Development 2017-2019 was a whole-of-government initiative to support the economic and social progress of rural Ireland. One of the objectives of the plan was to support enterprise growth and job creation in rural areas.
A key target of the action plan was to increase the number of people in employment outside of the Dublin region by 135,000 by 2020, using 2015 as the baseline. Between 2015 and 2019, employment in the regions increased by 222,400 outside of Dublin, greatly surpassing the target in the action plan.
Specific figures for employment by county are not captured in the quarterly labour force survey of the Central Statistics Office, CSO. However, the CSO's data show an increase in the number of people in employment in the NUTS 3 western region, which includes counties Roscommon, Galway and Mayo, of 41,800 between quarter 1 of 2015 and quarter 4 of 2019. That is the number of extra people who have been employed in those three counties.
Over the period of the Action Plan for Rural Development 2017-2019, the enterprise development agencies successfully focused on growing regional employment. In 2019, 66% of new jobs created by Enterprise Ireland client companies were outside the Dublin region, while 57% of jobs in IDA Ireland's client companies have been created outside the Dublin region. Regional jobs growth was also achieved through the work of Údarás na Gaeltachta and the local enterprise offices, while my own Department contributed to job creation in rural areas through programmes such as LEADER, the town and village renewal scheme, and the rural regeneration and development fund.
I will shortly be publishing a new rural development policy which will succeed the Action Plan for Rural Development 2017-2019. This policy will place a strong emphasis on supporting job creation and maximising the potential of remote working.