Back to Top

 Skip navigation

At Work

At Work

CSO statistical publication, , 11am
Census Results 2022 Branding
Census 2022 Results

This publication is part of a series of results from Census 2022. More thematic publications will be published throughout 2023 as outlined in the Census 2022 Publication Schedule.

Employment Trends

At the time of the Census in 2022, there were 2.3 million people at work, a rise of 16% since 2016.

  • The proportion of male workers was 53%, almost the same as in 2016 (54%).

  • In 2022, the number of male workers increased by 15% from six years previously and stood at 1.2 million.

  • The number of female workers increased by a slightly higher rate of 16% to a total of 1.1 million.

Figure 2.1 Population aged 15 years and over at work by sex, 2011 to 2022
Table 2.1 Population aged 15 years and over at work, actual and percentage change since previous census by sex, 2011 to 2022

Main Industries

The industrial group with the most workers in April 2022 was Public administration, with nearly 107,000 people working in this area, followed by Residential care and social work activities, with just under 104,000 people.

  • For males, the largest industry groups were Farming and IT activities (including computer programming, consultancy and related services), both with over 59,000 people employed.

  • The industry group with the most female workers in 2022 was Residential care and social work activities (nearly 81,000 people employed), followed by Hospital activities (just over 70,000 people).

Figure 2.2 Top 10 industrial groups among people aged 15 years and over at work, 2011 to 2022
Figure 2.3 Top 10 industrial groups among males aged 15 years and over at work, 2011 to 2022
Figure 2.4 Top 10 industrial groups among females aged 15 years and over at work, 2011 to 2022
Table 2.2 Population aged 15 years and over at work by detailed industrial group and sex, 2022

Trends in Employment by Industry

The industrial group which saw the largest increase in workers (over 37,000 people) since 2016 was Other human health activities (including therapeutic services, optician services, ambulance services, blood banks and vaccine clinics).

  • The next largest increase (of nearly 31,000 workers) was in IT activities.

  • The Public administration sector grew by over 23,000 people since 2016, Engineering (architectural, engineering and related activities) increased by nearly 20,000 people and Construction increased by just under 18,000 people.

  • Most of these industries had also seen growth between 2011 and 2016 except for Public administration which shed nearly 5,000 workers in that period.

  • The industry with the largest decline was Farming which saw a fall of over 8,000 workers, followed by Wholesale of food, down 6,562 people.

  • Retail of clothing fell by 4,306 people and the Taxi industry had nearly 3,000 fewer workers in 2022.

  • For female workers, the biggest increase was in Other human health activities (+28,528) and the biggest decline was in Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores (-3,536).

  • For males, the industry with the biggest increase was IT activities (+17,840) and the group with the largest decline was Farming (-8,135).

Figure 2.5 The top and bottom 10 industries by change in numbers since the previous census, 2016 and 2022
Table 2.3 Actual change since the previous census in population aged 15 years and over at work by detailed industrial group and sex, 2016 and 2022

Trends in Employment by Occupation

As in 2016, the occupational group with the most workers in 2022 was Sales and retail assistants including cashiers and check-out operators, despite a fall of 5% since 2016 to 85,918.

  • The next largest occupational groups in 2022 were Nurses and midwives (up 14% since 2016) and Farmers (down 11% since 2016), both with 61,473 workers.

  • The largest increase was in the Nursing auxiliaries and assistants category which more than doubled in size to over 36,000 people.

  • The next largest rises were among National government administrative occupations and Programmers and software developers, both up by around 12,000 people.

  • The largest decline was among Care workers and home carers, down 8,512 people to 36,093 workers, a fall of 19%. The second largest decline was among Farmers, down 11% to 61,473 people.

Figure 2.6 Top 20 occupational groups among people aged 15 years and over at work, 2011 to 2022
Table 2.4 Population aged 15 years and over at work by employment status and detailed occupational group, 2011 to 2022

Changes in Employment by County

All counties saw an increase in the number of workers since 2016, but the size of the increase varied substantially by county.

  • Longford had the largest percentage increase in workers, up 30% from 15,172 people at work to nearly 20,000.

  • Carlow and Meath had the next largest increase, both up by 22%.

  • The county with the smallest growth was Kerry, where there were 10% more people at work. This was followed by DĂșn Laoghaire-Rathdown with an increase of 11%.

Map 2.1 Actual and percentage change since the previous census in population aged 15 years and over and at work by county, 2022
Table 2.5 Population aged 15 years and over and at work, actual and percentage change since the previous census by county, 2016 to 2022

Part-time and Full-time Employment

A question on whether people's employment was full-time was asked for the first time in 2022. Three-quarters of workers stated they were in full-time employment with 14% working part-time.

  • The proportion of female workers who were part-time was over three times higher than the proportion of males, 23% and 7% respectively.

  • Female workers aged 65 years and over had the highest percentage of part-time employment at 46% followed by those aged 55 to 64 at 34%.

  • The age group with the lowest proportion of part-time workers among females was the 25 to 34 year olds (13%).

  • Among male workers, the age group with the highest proportion in part-time employment was also the over 65s (20%), followed by those aged 15 to 24 (11%).

  • The male age group with the lowest proportion of part-time workers was 35 to 44 (4%).

Figure 2.7 Females aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment and age group, 2022
Figure 2.8 Males aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment and age group, 2022
Table 2.6 Population aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment, age group and sex, 2022

In 2022, among industrial groups with over 2,000 workers, the sector with the highest percentage of people working part-time was Other service activities, where a third of workers were part-time. This sector included hair and beauty activities, dry cleaners, repair of personal and household goods, funeral activities.

  • The sector with the next highest proportion of part-time workers was Arts and entertainment (25%).

  • The industry with the lowest proportion of part-time workers was Information and communication activities (5%).

Figure 2.9 Population aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment, broad industrial group and sex, 2022
Table 2.7 Population aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment, broad industrial group and sex, 2022

The occupational group with the highest percentage of part-time workers was Secretarial and related occupations at 39%.

  • The next highest were Leisure, travel and personal services with 37% of workers, followed by Sales occupations with 36% part-time workers.

  • Occupations with the lowest percentage of part-time workers were in the Science, research, engineering and technology category at 3%.

  • Only 4% of workers in the Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades, Science, engineering and technology associates and Protective service occupations worked part-time.

Figure 2.10 Population aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment, intermediate occupational group and age, 2022
Table 2.8 Population aged 15 years and over by full-time or part-time employment, intermediate occupational group and age, 2022

Employment Status

The number of self-employed workers fell from over 313,000 in 2016 to nearly 309,000 in 2022. The proportion of all workers who were self-employed also fell in that time from 16% to 13%.

  • The number of people who were assisting a relative more than halved from nearly 6,000 in 2011 to just under 3,000 in 2022.
Figure 2.11 Population aged 15 years and over at work by employment status, 2011 to 2022
Table 2.9 Population aged 15 years and over at work by employment status and sex, 2011 to 2022

Males made up three-quarters of self-employed workers and 50% of employees.

  • The age group 45 to 54 years had the highest number of self-employed workers (over 88,000).

  • The age group with the highest proportion of self-employed workers was 65 and over (48%).

  • Self-employed males and females had a similar proportional distribution across age groups, with females, however, having a slightly lower proportion in each age category.

Figure 2.12 Population aged 15 years and over at work by employment status and sex, 2022
Table 2.10 Population aged 15 years and over at work by employment status, sex and age group, 2022

Recent Immigrants

Of the 77,307 people aged 15 years and over who moved to the State in the year prior to April 2022, 56% (43,650) were at work. Of these, 27% were Irish citizens.

  • The industry with the largest number of recent immigrant workers was Human health and social work activities, with 5,748 workers of whom 27% were Irish citizens.

  • The next largest industrial sector for recent immigrants was Accommodation and food service activities, with 5,545 workers of whom 10% were Irish citizens.

Figure 2.13 Top 10 industries for Irish and non-Irish population usually resident and present aged 15 years and over and at work who moved to the State in the year leading up to Census 2022
Table 2.11 Population usually resident and present aged 15 years and over and at work who moved to the State in the year leading up to the census by detailed industrial group and country of citizenship, 2022

The occupational group with the largest number of recent migrant workers was Elementary administration and service occupations, with over 5,000 people.

  • The next largest occupational groups were Health professionals and Science, research, engineering and technology professionals, both with over 4,000 people who had moved to the State in the year leading up to Census 2022.

  • The occupational group Business, media and public service professionals had the highest number of Irish citizens who moved to the State in the year leading to the census working in it.

Figure 2.14 Population usually resident and present aged 15 years and over and at work who moved to the State in the year leading up to the census by intermediate occupational group and country of citizenship, 2022
Table 2.12 Population usually resident and present aged 15 years and over and at work who moved to the State in the year leading up to the census by intermediate occupational group and country of citizenship, 2022

Working from Home - Trends Over Time

The number of people who recorded that they worked mainly from home increased by 173% between 2016 and 2022, from 94,955 workers in 2016 to 259,467 in 2022.

Figure 2.15 Population usually resident and present in the State aged 15 years and over who work mainly from home, 1986 to 2022
Table 2.13 Population usually resident and present in the State aged 15 years and over who work mainly from home by sex, 1986 to 2022

The Information and communication industrial group had the most people who worked mainly from home in 2022 (over 52,000), up by over nine fold since 2016.

  • The next largest sector was Professional, scientific and technical activities (over 34,000 home-based workers).

  • The industry with the highest increase in home-based workers was Finance and insurance, growing by more than 20 times.

Figure 2.16 Population usually resident and present in the State aged 15 years and over who work mainly from home by broad industrial group, 2011 to 2022