Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gave the under-pressure economy of Ireland a boost by announcing 500 new jobs at the company’s European headquarters located in the country. Apple will add to the 2,800 employees who currently work at its facility in the southern city of Cork over the next 18 months.
The company had faced mass protests at the facility earlier this week when Greenpeace activists staged an hour-long demonstration against Apple’s apparently energy inefficient practices. A Greenpeace report had ranked the company’s iCloud service among the worst in energy efficiency and use of cleaner fuels to power data centers. The protestors placed signs with letters spelling out the words “clean our cloud” and handed out pamphlets to company employees.
The facility largely provides distribution, supply chain management, and back office functions serving all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company also assembles Mac Pro desktops at the location.
Ireland was bailed out by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in 2010 and still has an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent, its highest since 1993. However, the country’s low corporate taxes have managed to attract some big companies, with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook also placing large offices in Dublin. Generic drug maker Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) earlier announced it would also hire 500 new workers in Ireland.