I wish to congratulate Deputy Kelleher on his election to the European Parliament. It has been a pleasure to work with him in a very constructive way since I took up this position. I wish him the very best in the European Parliament. I have no doubt he will make a significant contribution there also.
Regional development remains a key priority for me and my Department. We understand the importance of achieving the best possible spread of employment and investment across the country and my Department and its agencies have been working hard towards that goal. Significant progress has been made. For example, 58% of all IDA Ireland client-supported employment is now situated outside Dublin. This figure represents the highest level of regional employment in the history of the agency. Last year, IDA Ireland secured 113 regional investments. This strong level of performance in attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland is being maintained. Last week, I announced IDA Ireland's mid-year results for 2019, which included 13,500 new jobs approved across the country, representing an increase of 19% on the equivalent period last year. Indications are that further strong employment and investment growth will be achieved over the latter half of the year, which will lead to more economic opportunities across regional Ireland.
As I previously made clear, the availability of marketable serviced land and buildings in advance of demand is a key element in IDA Ireland's ability to compete for mobile foreign direct investment. Not only does such a supply of properties help the agency to secure high-quality jobs, it also allows projects to begin at an earlier date by diminishing difficulties associated with land acquisition, planning and construction. For that reason, it remains an important means by which IDA Ireland can encourage and attract new investors to Ireland.
IDA Ireland owns 29 properties across Ireland. Of these, 14 are occupied by agency clients, with the remainder available for prospective or existing investors. It is important that IDA Ireland has such a supply of properties in order that it can better compete with other jurisdictions for job-rich investment and secure new projects for Ireland.