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Unemployment rate drops from 19.5 percent to 14.3 percent in five years


Anton McNulty

The largest employer in Mayo is the wholesale and retail trade with 14.4 percent of workers in Mayo working in that sector. However, there are almost as many unemployed people in the county as there are people working in that sector.  
The latest figures on employment, occupations and industry from Census 2016 show that of a labour force of 60,030 in Mayo, 51,439 were at work in April 2016. The figures showed that the number of employed people in the county increased from the 2011 Census, when 49,076 were at work in Mayo from a total labour force of 60,942.
The largest industrial sector in the county is the wholesale and retail trade, accounting for 7,400 workers. Manufacturing is the next largest, with 6,501 workers (12.6 percent). The top five was completed by human health and social work activities (12.4 percent), agriculture, forestry and fishing (8.5 percent) and education (8.5 percent).
The number of people working in the the traditional agriculture, forestry and fishing sector was down by 17.9 percent on 2011. The 2016 Census showed that 4,395 people worked in this sector, down by 959 from the last Census.
There was a increase in persons working in the construction sector, with 3,235 persons (6.3 percent) employed in it – up from 2,984 five years previously.
While the unemployment figure in the county was down compared to 2011, it remains higher compared to the national average. Total unemployment in the county was 8,591 giving an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent, compared with 19.5 percent in April 2011. Nationally, the unemployment rate recorded by Census 2016 was 12.9 percent. Of the unemployed in the county, 768 (8.9 percent) were first-time job seekers.
Among Mayo’s unemployed, 83 percent were Irish nationals, compared with 82.2 percent in 2011, while 17 percent were non-Irish nationals, down from 17.8 percent five years previously.
Of those unemployed, 768 were seeking their first job while 7,823 had lost or given up their previous employment.
Nationally the number of people at work in Ireland in April 2016 increased to just over 2 million (11 percent). The numbers of people looking after the home/family continued to decline, falling by 10.1 percent to 305,556 while the numbers of retired persons increased to 545,407, up 88,013 (19.2 percent) on 2011.
Commenting on the figures, Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician, said: “This report analyses the world of work in Ireland in 2016, with a particular focus on changes in the numbers at work by occupations and industrial sectors. It also looks at the profile of the non-Irish national population in the workforce.”

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