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Detailed Business Sectors

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

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Active enterprises
Mining & quarrying451
Electricity, gas etc663
Water supply etc1024
Motor trade9386
Wholesale trade13526
Retail trade23874
Transportation & storage24851
Accommodation & food19418
Information & communication16418
Financial & insurance8238
Real estate15788
Professional, scientific etc45161
Administrative & support18097
  • The Construction sector accounted for the largest number of active enterprises with 59,175 enterprises active in 2019
  • The sectors with the lowest number of active enterprises were Mining & quarrying and Electricity, gas, etc with 451 and 663 enterprises respectively
X-axis labelPersons engaged
Mining & quarrying4713
Electricity, gas etc9562
Water supply etc10924
Motor trade38719
Wholesale trade113689
Retail trade238138
Transportation & storage108567
Accommodation & food222716
Information & communication118709
Financial & insurance106603
Real estate32870
Professional, scientific etc170797
Administrative & support167374
  • Manufacturing accounted for the largest number of persons engaged with over 239,000 in 2019
  • This was followed by the Retail trade sector which had 238,138 persons engaged 
  • Although Construction accounted for the largest number of active enterprises by sector in 2019, it was only the 6th largest sector for employment with a total of 158,227 persons engaged in 2019
  • Mining & quarrying and Electricity, gas etc accounted for the lowest number of persons engaged in 2019, with 4,713 and 9,562 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).

X-axis labelGVA
Mining & quarrying 0.5
Electricity gas etc2.7
Water supply etc1
Motor trade1.7
Wholesale trade16.4
Retail trade7.8
Transportation & storage7.1
Accommodation & food5.1
Information & communication49.8
Real estate2
Professional, scientific etc14.4
Administrative & support20.4
Other services 2.3
  • The Manufacturing sector generated the largest gross value added (GVA) in the Irish non-financial business economy amounting to €110.6 billion in 2019
  • In 2019 the Information & communication sector provided the second largest contribution to GVA in Ireland (€49.8 billion)
  • The Mining & quarrying sector was the lowest producer of GVA in Ireland in 2019 (€0.5 billion)
X-axis labelGVA per person engaged
Mining & quarrying 99743
Electricity gas etc279601
Water supply etc87096
Motor trade43209
Wholesale trade144310
Retail trade32773
Transportation & storage65635
Accommodation & food23088
Information & communication419799
Real estate59872
Professional, scientific etc84032
Administrative & support122121
Other services 29659
  • The Manufacturing sector generated the highest gross value added (GVA) per person engaged in Ireland at €462,173 in 2019
  • The Information & communication sector was the second largest contributor in Ireland for GVA per person engaged in 2019, amounting to €419,799 per person engaged
  • The lowest recorded GVA per person engaged in Ireland in 2019 was in the Accommodation & food services sector at €23,088 per person engaged
X-axis labelGOS as a percentage of turnover
Mining & quarrying8.1
Electricity, gas, etc15.1
Water supply etc17.4
Motor trade3.4
Wholesale trade 7.8
Retail trade 6.1
Transportation & storage 11.6
Accommodation & food9
Information & communication24.7
Real estate activities26.2
Professional, scientific etc16.3
Administrative & support 35
Other service activities10.4
  • The Manufacturing sector generated the most gross operating surplus (GOS) as a percentage of turnover in 2019 (35.4%) 
  • This was followed by the Administrative and support sector which generated 35% of turnover as GOS in 2019
  • The Motor trade sector generated the least GOS as a percentage of turnover with just 3.4% in 2019
6.1 Nace Rev.2 detailed sector descriptions

6.2 Gross value added per person engaged by detailed sector, 2019

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