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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Jan 7, 2015 - 10:35 AM

Irish Economy 2014: Tourism activities account for half the jobs added since Q1 2011
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Nov 28, 2014 - 6:40 AM

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Irish Economy 2014: Tourism activities (Accommodation and food service activities) account for half the jobs added since the end of the first quarter of 2011 when the current governing Coalition was in office for 22 days. If the official data issued by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is used, both tourism activities and  'Agriculture, forestry and fishing' account for two-thirds of the jobs added.

On Thursday we analysed the additional 85,000 jobs added in the period Q1 2011 - Q3 2014 according to official data: 34,000 full-time employees have been added; 10,000 part-time staff; 27,000 in one-person self employment; 15,000 in public schemes and a net -1,000 in other categories.

Analysis: Irish full-time employee numbers up 14,000 in year; Broad jobless rate at 21%

The '27,000 in one-person self employment' is mainly reflected by the rise of 26,000 in the number of people in Agriculture etc. However this reflects a statistical anomaly not a reality in the economy.

Agriculture etc. had 121,000 employed in 2000; 114,000 in 2007; 117,000 at the end of 2008 and in 2009 27,000 jobs were lost, ending the year at 90,000 and falling as low as 80,000 in Q1 2010.

Census 2011 found that the number of migrants was underestimated by 103,000 and past data was revised by adding 40,000 to employment numbers.

In 2013, the 27,000 missing farmers from 2009 had been picked up by Census 2011 and the CSO added 27,000 to the 2013 Agriculture etc. employment figures.

In addition to farmers, Coillte, the state forestry company, has about 1,000 on its payroll, and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the fisheries agency said in respect of 2012 that 11,000 persons were employed in the Irish seafood industry, of which:

  • Fishermen 4,984;
  • Fish farmers 1,716;
  • Processing 2,860;
  • Ancillary 1,140.

The CSO told Finfacts last March in respect of the 'Agriculture etc.' category:

We had also previously flagged this in 2009/2010. We had indicated that the fall in the sector at that time was linked to the sample then introduced and should also be interpreted with caution. CSO has indicated that it will examine the issue going forward and consider what further can be done, if anything. Any updates regarding the matter will be communicated to users. Any impact on other sectors, self-employed would be examined as well. We will also, of course, be evaluating additional information as it becomes available over the next number of releases."

From February 2014 when the CSO issued the 2013 data, the most popular ministerial talking point was that "5,000 jobs are being created each month" and at a press conference last April I did ask Richard Bruton, enterprise minister, about the jump in farming numbers. He dismissed my concerns and his handler would not allow a follow-on question.

What the analysis here means is that employment in the economy has risen by about 60,000 since March 2011 not by 85,000 and the statements this week from Enda Kenny, taoiseach, and Richard Bruton that 80,000 jobs have been added since the 'Action Plan for Jobs' report was launched in February 2012, is not correct.

The number of jobs added is about 55,000.

Looking at the jobs situation from the viewpoint of demand in the economy, tourism is a low-paid sector and foreign nationals account for 33% of employment compared with 15% of total employment.

Irish  Employment by NACE Economic Category

2011Q1 - 2014Q3

2011Q1 2014Q3 Change
Both sexes
All NACE economic sectors
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 1,841.8 1,926.9 +85
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (A)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 83.2 109.7 +26
Construction (F)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 108.5 112.4 +7
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (G)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 271.3 275.2 +4
Transportation and storage (H)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 94.6 87.5 -7
Accommodation and food service activities (I)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 110.7 139.8 +29
Information and communication (J)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 72.6 79.3 +7
Professional, scientific and technical activities (M)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 103.6 116.9 +13
Administrative and support service activities (N)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 64.9 65.2 -
Public administration and defence, compulsory social security (O)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 104.5 98.1 -6
Education (P)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 148.2 144.1 -4
Human health and social work activities (Q)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 235.1 249.5 +14
Industry (B to E)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 238.4 238.8 -
Financial, insurance and real estate activities (K,L)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 99.7 103.1 +3
Other NACE activities (R to U)
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 99.4 101.6 +2
Not stated
Person aged 15 years and over in Employment (Thousand) 6.9 5.8 -1
Rounding -2
Source: CSO via Finfacts.ie

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