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Detailed Business Sectors

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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.

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Active enterprises
Mining & quarrying405
Electricity, gas etc515
Water supply etc1014
Motor trade8621
Wholesale trade13493
Retail trade24512
Transportation & storage25066
Accommodation & food18336
Information & communication14246
Financial & insurance7009
Real estate13228
Professional, scientific etc40186
Administrative & support16423
  • Construction accounted for the largest number of active enterprises per detailed sector with 50,546 enterprises active in 2015 
  • The smallest detailed sectors are Mining & quarrying and Electricity, gas etc which accounted for just 920 enterprises combined 
Persons engaged
Mining & quarrying4164
Electricity, gas etc8846
Water supply etc8740
Motor trade33468
Wholesale trade96472
Retail trade215971
Transportation & storage94622
Accommodation & food170222
Information & communication87597
Financial & insurance97836
Real estate24723
Professional, scientific etc127591
Administrative & support123962
  • Retail trade accounted for the largest number of persons engaged, 216,000 in 2015 
  • This was followed by Manufacturing which had just over 200,000 persons engaged 
  • Although Construction accounted for the largest number of active enterprises by sector in 2015, it was only the 6th largest sector for employment with 108,720 persons engaged
  • Mining & quarrying and Water supply etc accounted for the least amount of persons engaged in 2015, with 4,164 and 8,740 persons respectively  
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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 & quarrying 0.3
Electricity gas etc3.3
Water supply etc0.4
Motor trade1.4
Wholesale trade10.1
Retail trade7.7
Transportation & storage7.8
Accomodation & food4.3
Information & communication22.6
Real estate1.6
Professional, scientific etc9.8
Administrative & support13.9
Other services 2.1
  • The Manufacturing sector generated the largest GVA in the Irish non-financial business economy at €89.2 billion in 2015
  • In 2015 the Information & communication sector provided the second largest contribution to GVA in Ireland at €22.6 billion
  • The sector that included Water supply etc was the smallest producer of GVA in Ireland at €0.4 billion in 2015 


GVA per person engaged
Mining & quarrying 64643.3717579251
Electricity gas etc371585.914537644
Water supply etc40594.3935926773
Motor trade43076.9391657703
Wholesale trade104375.383530973
Retail trade35664.7929583138
Transportation & storage82138.3716260489
Accomodation & food25038.3969169673
Information & communication257767.583364727
Real estate63596.5699955507
Professional, scientific etc76511.4937573967
Administrative & support111824.188057631
Other services 33045.9598762985
  • The Manufacturing sector generated the most value added per person engaged in Ireland at €445,921 in 2015
  • The sector that included Electricity, gas etc was the second largest contributor in Ireland for GVA per person engaged at €371,586 in 2015
  • The lowest recorded GVA per person engaged in Ireland in 2015 was in the Accommodation & food services sector at €25,038 per person engaged
Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover
Mining & quarrying-0.2
Electricity, gas, etc31.6
Water supply etc-3.1
Motor trades 1.1
Wholesale trade 5.1
Retail trade 7.4
Transportation and storage 16.2
Accommodation and food9.1
Information and communication14.8
Real estate activities14.1
Professional, scientific etc10.7
Administrative and support 39.2
Other service activities7.3
  • The Administrative & support sector generated the most Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover at 39.2% in 2015
  • This was followed by the Manufacturing sector that generated 35.4% of Turnover as Gross Operating Surplus in 2015
  • The Water supply sector generated the least Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover at -3.1% in 2015
Show Table: 6.1 Nace Rev.2 detailed sector descriptions

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