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Detailed Business Sectors

Detailed Business Sectors

Manufacturing sector had highest number of persons engaged and highest GVA per person engaged

Online ISSN: 2009-6895
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

The business sectors in previous chapters have been broken into 15 more detailed sectors, based on the NACE Rev. 2 sectoral classification to provide more detail. See Appendix 3.

Business Demography

The data for Business Demography are based on the CSO Central Business Register. The Business Register is a register of all enterprises that are active in the State. There is no lower size limit, but for practical reasons, Business Demography data are based on enterprises that are registered with the Revenue Commissioners. New businesses are identified by Employer, Corporation Tax or Income Tax registrations. 

Number of Enterprises by Detailed Sector

  • The Construction sector accounted for the largest number of active enterprises with 62,664 enterprises active in 2020, followed by the Professional, Scientific & Technical sector with 46,742 active enterprises
  • The sectors with the lowest number of active enterprises were Mining & Quarrying, and Electricity, Gas, Steam & Air Conditioning with 452 and 760 enterprises respectively
Active enterprises
Mining & quarrying (B)452
Manufacturing (C)16894
Electricity, gas etc (D)760
Water supply etc (E)1065
Construction (F)62664
Motor trade (G45)9372
Wholesale trade (G46)13711
Retail trade (G47)23709
Transportation & storage (H)24127
Accommodation & food (I)19062
Information & communication (J)17075
Financial & insurance (K excl. 642)8829
Real estate (L)15603
Professional, scientific etc (M)46742
Administrative & support (N)18797

Number of Persons Engaged by Detailed Sector

  • The Manufacturing sector accounted for the largest number of persons engaged with 236,067 in 2020, followed by the Retail Trade sector with 224,934 persons engaged
  • Although Construction accounted for the largest number of active enterprises by sector in 2020, it was only the fifth largest sector in terms of employment with a total of 157,349 persons engaged in 2020
  • The Mining & Quarrying sector accounted for the lowest number of persons engaged in 2020 (3,014)
X-axis labelPersons engaged
Mining & quarrying (B)3014
Manufacturing (C)236067
Electricity, gas etc (D)10918
Water supply etc (E)10661
Construction (F)157349
Motor trade (G45)36137
Wholesale trade (G46)111782
Retail trade (G47)224934
Transportation & storage (H)104443
Accommodation & food (I)157946
Information & communication (J)122763
Financial & insurance (K excl. 642)104241
Real estate (L)30866
Professional, scientific etc (M)172685
Administrative & support (N)148707

Business Operations

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, and Construction).

GVA by Detailed Sector

  • The Manufacturing sector generated the largest GVA in the Irish non-financial business economy amounting to €123.3 billion in 2020 (44.7%)
  • In 2020 the Information & Communication sector provided the second largest contribution to GVA in Ireland at €61.4 billion (22.3%)
X-axis labelGVA
Mining & quarrying (B)0.3
Manufacturing (C)123.3
Electricity, gas etc (D)4
Water supply etc (E)0.8
Construction (F)8
Motor trade (G45)1.6
Wholesale trade (G46)17.4
Retail trade (G47)8.1
Transportation & storage (H)3.2
Accommodation & food (I)2.9
Information & communication (J)61.4
Real estate (L)1.9
Professional, scientific etc (M)17.8
Administrative & support (N)23.1
Other services (R92, R93, S95, S96)2.1

GVA Per Person Engaged by Detailed Sector

  • The Manufacturing sector generated the highest GVA per person engaged in Ireland in 2020 (€522,514)
  • The Information & Communication sector had the second highest level of GVA per person engaged in 2020, amounting to €499,837
  • The lowest recorded level of GVA per person engaged in Ireland in 2020 was in the Accommodation & Food services sector (€18,378)
X-axis labelGVA per person engaged
Mining & quarrying (B)100605
Manufacturing (C)522514
Electricity, gas etc (D)364659
Water supply etc (E)73479
Construction (F)51035
Motor trade (G45)43541
Wholesale trade (G46)156063
Retail trade (G47)35859
Transportation & storage (H)30890
Accommodation & food (I)18378
Information & communication (J)499837
Real estate (L)59983
Professional, scientific etc (M)102812
Administrative & support (N)155187
Other services (R92, R93, S95, S96)29309

Gross Operating Surplus as a Percentage of Turnover

  • The Administrative & Support sector generated the greatest proportion of GOS as a percentage of turnover in 2020 (45.2%) 
  • This was followed by the Manufacturing sector which generated 38.3% of turnover as GOS in 2020
  • The Transportation & Storage sector generated the least GOS as a percentage of turnover at -1.8% in 2020
X-axis labelGOS as a percentage of turnover
Mining & quarrying (B)8
Manufacturing (C)38.3
Electricity, gas etc (D)29.6
Water supply etc (E)18.7
Construction (F)12.8
Motor trade (G45)4.8
Wholesale trade (G46)9.4
Retail trade (G47)8.1
Transportation & storage (H)-1.8
Accommodation & food (I)12.2
Information & communication (J)27.8
Real estate (L)27.9
Professional, scientific etc (M)22.5
Administrative & support (N)45.2
Other services (R92, R93, S95, S96)14.4
6.1 Gross value added per person engaged by detailed sector, 2020