Despite the fact that almost everyone you speak to in Leitrim refers to themselves as a “small farmer” the CSO figures from last year show that agriculture is not the biggest employer in the county, in fact the health and social sector boast the largest number of workers.
The Central Statistics Office released the latest publication in its series of Census 2011 results, last week showing that health and social work is the largest industrial sector in County Leitrim employing 1,603 or 13.4% of people at work. Farming didn’t even make it into the second biggest employer in the county, that title went to the wholesale and retail trade. 1,538 Leitrim people work in the retail sector, while 1,215 said their income came from the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector. Just 10.1% of the county’s population worked in the agri sector last year according to the CSO figures.
Education, Public administration & defence, Real estate, renting & business activities as well as hotels and restaurants were also large employers in the county. Mining, quarrying and turf production accounted for the smallest number of workers in Leitrim.
The biggest employers nationally were the wholesale and retail trade at 12.7% while in Connacht the biggest employer was the hotel & restaurant businesses.
Total unemployment in the county in April 2011 was 3,047 giving an unemployment rate of 20.3% compared with 19% for the State as a whole. Of these, 207 were first time job seekers.
The CSO also found that 22.5% of unemployed people in Leitrim in April 2011 were non-Irish nationals compared with 19.5% for the State overall.
“Profile 3 At Work - Employment, occupations and industry in Ireland”, is the third Profile report examining census results in more detail and presents first results on detailed industry and occupations along with further analysis of the labour market . It looks at the industries and occupations rising and falling as well as examining unemployment with regard to immigration, education and other social and demographic factors.
Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO said, “This release examines several facets of the labour force as it was in April 2011. It provides more detailed results on industries and occupations as well as analysis by nationality, ability to speak English, social class and field of study. There is a focus on those who were out of work, particularly unemployment among young people and first time jobseekers.”
The full report is available on the CSO website at www.cso.ie/census