What do people in the Western Region and its counties work at?

Recently the Western Development Commission (WDC) published two new WDC Insights publications examining the sectoral profile of employment in the Western Region of Ireland and its counties.

Both are based on an analysis of data from Census 2016 on employment by economic sector (industrial group).  The first looks at the sectoral pattern of employment in the Western Region as a whole compared with that elsewhere in the country, while the second focuses on the sectoral profile of employment in each of the seven individual counties in the Western Region.

What do people in the Western Region work at?

In 2016, 333,919 people living in the Western Region were in employment.  In comparison with the rest of the state, the Western Region relies more heavily on traditional sectors, public services and some local services while it has far lower shares working in knowledge intensive service (see Fig. 1).

Fig 1: Percentage of employment by each broad sector in Western Region and Rest of State, 2016. Source: CSO, Census 2016 – Summary Results Part 2 http://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/presspages/2017/census2016summaryresults-part2/

The region’s largest sector is Industry (largely manufacturing) and it is considerably more important to the region’s labour market than in the rest of the state, a pattern that intensified between 2011 and 2016. Agriculture, Health, Education and Accommodation & Food service are other sectors that are more important in the region than elsewhere.

The knowledge intensive services sectors of Financial, Insurance & Real Estate, Information & Communications, and Professional, Scientific & Technical activities are all considerably larger employers elsewhere. Combined, they employ 9.7% of workers in the Western Region, but 16.2% in the rest of the state.

What do people in the seven western counties work at?

Public Services (Health, Education and Public Administration) is the largest source of employment in all western counties (see Fig. 2).  Counties Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Donegal are the four counties in the State with the highest shares of their population employed in Public Services.

Fig 2: Percentage of employment by each high level sector in seven western counties, 2016. Source: CSO, Census 2016 – Summary Results Part 2 http://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/presspages/2017/census2016summaryresults-part2/

The next largest employment sector in all western counties is Locally Traded Services. With the exception of Donegal, Industry (largely manufacturing) is the third largest employment sector.   For Donegal, Industry is smaller than Knowledge Intensive Services (Professional, Scientific & Technical, Information & Communications, and Financial, Insurance & Real Estate).

Roscommon has the highest share working in Agriculture in the region, it along with Leitrim and Mayo have among the highest shares nationally.

As well as outlining the current structure of employment in the region and its counties, the change in employment by sector between 2011 and 2016 is examined in the two publications which can be downloaded here

Work is currently underway on producing profiles of the labour market of each of the individual western counties and these will be published shortly.

Pauline White