Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Detailed Business Sectors

Open in Excel:

The broad business sectors that were presented in previous chapters have been broken into fifteen detailed sectors, based on the NACE Rev. 2 sectoral classification.  See Appendix 3.

Open in Excel:
Active enterprises
Mining & quarrying411
Electricity, gas etc483
Water supply etc975
Motor trade8259
Wholesale trade13062
Retail trade24297
Transportation & storage24595
Accommodation & food17790
Information & communication13687
Financial & insurance6593
Real estate11912
Professional, scientific etc38795
Administrative & support15412
  • Construction accounted for the largest number of active enterprises per detailed sector with 47,349 enterprises active in 2014. 
  • The smallest detailed sectors are Mining & quarrying and Electricity, gas etc which accounted for less than 500 enterprises each in 2014. 
Persons engaged
Mining & quarrying4058
Electricity, gas etc8496
Water supply etc8025
Motor trade31023
Wholesale trade93564
Retail trade212279
Transportation & storage91985
Accommodation & food161097
Information & communication82010
Financial & insurance96460
Real estate22775
Professional, scientific etc120245
Administrative & support112448
  • Retail trade accounted for the largest number of persons engaged in 2014 per the detailed sectors with almost 212,300 persons engaged. This was followed by Manufacturing which had close to 190,000 persons engaged. 
  • Although Construction accounted for the largest number of active enterprises per detailed sector in 2014 (see Fig 6.1), it accounted for only the 6th largest sector for persons engaged in 2014 with 99,860 persons engaged.
  • Mining & quarrying and Water supply etc accounted for the least amount of persons engaged per detailed sector in 2014 with 4,058 and 8,025 persons engaged respectively.  
Open in Excel:

The CSO Structural Business Surveys are used to analyse the financial data for the detailed sectors. Turnover and Gross Value Added (GVA) are presented in absolute terms. GVA per person engaged gives an indication of the productivity of the detailed sectors while the profitability of the sectors is also analysed using Gross Operating Surplus (GOS) as a percentage of turnover. The variable GOS is broadly analogous to profit and is the balance available to the enterprise which allows it to provide a return to shareholders, to pay taxes and to finance all or part of its investment.

The Financial and Insurance sector is excluded from this section while the Other Services Activities sector (NACE Rev.2 - R92, R93, S95 and S96) is included. Accordingly, all the measures below for GVA, GOS and productivity relate to the non-financial business economy only (which encompasses the broad sectors of Industry, Services, Distribution & Construction).

Mining & quarrying0.474
Electricity, gas etc3.5
Water supply etc0.391
Motor trade0.8
Wholesale trade10.2
Retail trade7
Transportation & storage6.9
Accommodation & food 3.9
Information & communication22.5
Real estate1.4
Professional, scientific etc8.6
Administrative & support9.8
Other services2
  • The Manufacturing sector generated the largest GVA in the Irish non-financial business economy at €36.9 billion in 2014.
  • In 2014 the Information & communication sector provided the second largest contribution to GVA in Ireland at €22.5 billion.
  • The Water supply etc sector was the smallest producer of business economy GVA in Ireland at €0.4 billion in 2014. 


GVA per person engaged
Mining & quarrying121874
Electricity, gas etc416622
Water supply etc54773
Motor trade27027
Wholesale trade109284
Retail trade32909
Transportation & storage75344
Accommodation & food 24365
Information & communication274912
Real estate62727
Professional, scientific etc71806
Administrative & support87378
Other services32606
  • The Electricity, gas etc sector generated the most value added per person engaged in Ireland at €416,622 in 2014.
  • The Information & communication sector was the second largest contributor in Ireland for GVA per person engaged at €274,912 in 2014.
  • The lowest recorded GVA per person engaged recorded in Ireland in 2014 was in the Accommodation & food service activities sector, at €24,365 per person engaged.
Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover
Mining & quarrying21.7
Electricity, gas etc36.6
Water supply etc10.5
Wholesale & retail trade5.1
Transportation & storage11
Accommodation & food8
Information & communication17.5
Real estate15.3
Professional, scientific etc9.3
Administrative & support27.5
Other services7.4


  • The Electricity, gas etc sector generated the most Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover at 36.6% in 2014.
  • This was followed by the Administrative & support services activites sector that generated 27.5% of Turnover as Gross Operating Surplus in 2014.
  • The Wholesale & retail trade sector generated the least Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover at 5.1% in 2014.  


Show Table: 6.1 Nace Rev.2 detailed sector descriptions

Go to next chapter >>> Multinationals: An Irish Perspective