Amazon to add over 1,000 jobs in Ireland in country's biggest staff boost this year

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon package is seen after being delivered in London, Britain February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Amazon will add more than 1,000 new jobs in Ireland over the next two years, the U.S. online retail giant said on Monday, taking its workforce to more than 3,500 in a country that continues to be a magnet for major technology firms.

The move was the largest by a multinational company in Ireland this year and adds to the 11,300 announced by foreign companies in the first half of the year, a slight increase on the same period a year ago, according to Ireland’s investment agency, IDA Ireland.

Ireland has a decades-old policy of attracting multinational jobs with a corporate tax rate of just 12.5 percent, making it a hub for U.S. companies - including heavyweights such as Apple, Google and Facebook - which account for one in 10 local jobs.

Amazon said the new Dublin-based roles will include software engineers, security specialists and big data specialists at both Amazon and Amazon Web Services, its cloud unit.

The Seattle-based announced earlier this month that it would add 2,500 jobs in neighboring Britain, boosting its presence there to nearly 28,000.

“Amazon’s decision to bring another 1,000 jobs to Ireland underpins our mission to make this country an innovative, digital economy and a global leader for the tech sector,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Louise Heavens