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Key Findings

Nearly one in three people worked from home at least one day a week in April 2022

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.

Key Findings

  • The number of people working rose by 16% to 2.3 million in April 2022 with every county showing employment growth.

  • The census unemployment rate in April 2022 was 8%, down from 13% in Census 2016 and from 19% in Census 2011.

  • The number of retirees increased at a faster rate (21%) than workers (16%) since 2016, with 660,000 people indicating they were retired in 2022.

  • Almost a quarter of all females were working part-time while 7% of males worked part-time.

  • Almost a third of workers (750,000 people) worked from home at least one day a week. 

  • The industrial sector which saw the largest growth in workers (+37,000 people) since 2016 was Other Human Health Activities which includes such professions as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

  • There were 3.2 million people travelling to school, work, or college in Census 2022, up 8% since 2016. The car remained the most popular mode of transport for workers and school-goers.

  • The average travel time continued to climb, up from 26.6 minutes in Census 2011 to 29.1 minutes in Census 2022.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (05 December 2023) released Census 2022 Profile 7 Employment, Occupations and Commuting. Today’s publication focuses on people at work, unemployed, and outside the labour force, occupations and main sectors of employment, as well as on the commuting patterns of workers, students, and children at school or childcare.

Commenting on the results, Dr Tracy Clegg, Statistician in the Census Division, said:

“Profile 7 provides detailed analysis on the information published in May 2023 in the Employment, Occupation, Industry and Commuting Chapter of the Census 2022 Summary Results. The addition of new questions in Census 2022 on topics such as commuting to childcare, part-time working, working from home, and the time people left their workplace, school, college or childcare means we can provide more insight on travel patterns.

Principal Economic Status

In Census 2022, 2.3 million people were at work, a 16% increase compared with Census 2016. Males accounted for 1.2 million of the working population and females for 1.1 million. While the number of people looking after the home/family continued to decline, down 11% over the six years, the number of retired people rose to nearly 658,000, or by 21% from 2016. The number of female retirees was up by 27% to more than 342,000 compared with a 15% increase for males to nearly 316,000. Census 2022 marked the first time there were more female retirees than male. The number of people unemployed fell by 34% since 2016 to more than 176,000, however, the number of people seeking their first job grew by 10% to nearly 35,000. 

The highest labour force participation rate was in Fingal at 66% while Donegal and Mayo had the lowest at 57% each.

At Work

The number of workers in all counties rose with the largest percentage increase recorded in Longford, up 30% since 2016. Dublin City saw the largest growth in the number of people working mainly from home, up by nearly 30,000 workers compared with 2016.

The industrial group with the most workers in April 2022 was Public Administration at nearly 107,000 people. The largest occupational group was Sales & Retail Assistants (incl. cashiers and check-out operators) at almost 86,000 people despite a 5% decrease since 2016. Nursing Auxiliaries & Assistants was the occupation that saw the largest increase since 2016 and Table F7050 shows that this category more than doubled in size to more than 36,000 people. 

Based on a new question asked in Census 2022, we can now differentiate between people who were in part-time employment and those who were working full-time. There were 14% of workers employed part-time (Table F7108) and the proportion of female workers who were part-time was more than three times higher than the proportion of males, 23% and 7% respectively. 

Another new question in Census 2022 provides information on the total number of people who worked from home for at least some part of their week. Nearly one in three workers, or just under 750,000 people, availed of home working (Table F7137); 15% of these worked from home for one day a week, 17% for two days, 16% for three days, 10% for four days, and 33% for five or more days a week. Among towns with a population of 1,500 people or more, Malahide and Portmarnock in Fingal had the highest proportion (57%) of workers who worked from home for at least some part of the week.


The census unemployment rate stood at 8% in 2022. Compared with 2011, the rate declined across all age cohorts with the largest fall recorded among males aged 15 to 24 years, from 45% to 17% in 2022. There were just over 106,000 people in long-term unemployment (12 months or more) and 70,217 people were in short-term unemployment (less than 12 months). Another nearly 35,000 people were first time job seekers.

Looking at the data in Table F7121, it is apparent that a quarter of people who were in short-term unemployment and 24% of those seeking their first job had a third-level degree or higher. For people in long-term unemployment, the proportion with a third-level qualification was lower than the other categories of unemployed, at 16%. 

The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Louth, Longford, and Donegal, all at 11%. Donegal and Louth also had the highest long-term unemployment rates, both at 6%.

Commuting to Work

Some 63% of the population commuted to work by car, down from 66% in 2016. This method of transport was still the most popular in 2022, with 59% of workers driving and a further 4% travelling as passengers in a car. There was a higher proportion of females among those walking to work (55%), whereas the majority of cyclists (72%) were male. In 2022, on average, males spent longer commuting to work (31.2 minutes) than females (26.9 minutes).

Counties Galway (71%) and Roscommon (70%) had the highest proportion of people driving to work. Dublin and Galway cities had the highest proportion of people who walked to work at 18% and 16% respectively. Dublin City also had the highest proportion of commuters cycling to work (10%).

Table F7130 shows commuting patterns by town - Swords in Fingal had the highest proportion of commuters travelling by bus at 18% while Dingle-Daingean in Kerry at 44% and Clones in Monaghan at 32% had the highest proportion of commuters walking to work. Counties bordering Dublin had the longest commutes, with people in Meath having the highest average journey time of 35 minutes. This was followed by Kildare, Wicklow and Fingal, all with an average journey time of 34 minutes. The shortest commutes were in Galway City, at 23 minutes on average.

For the first time in Census 2022, the length of people's working day can be calculated based on the time they left home and when they departed their workplace. The average length of a working day was 8.7 hours for full-time workers and 7.2 hours for part-time workers. Paramedics had the longest working day among all occupations, with an average of 11.5 hours. They were closely followed by prison officers (11.2 hours) and Gardaí (10.9 hours).

The daytime working population of Dublin city and suburbs was nearly 578,000, the highest at national level; nearly 150,000 of these people were commuting into the city for work. 

Travelling to Childcare, School and College

There were 1.3 million children and students commuting to their place of childcare or education in 2022. The census questions about travel to work, school or college were expanded and for the first time, information on commuting patterns for children aged 0 to 4 years was captured (Table F7065). 

Almost 160,000 preschool-aged children (0-4 years) travelled to childcare. The vast majority travelled by car (119,350). Among the 563,117 primary school children (aged 5 to 12 years), the car was again the main mode of transport at 55%, down from 60% in Census 2016. Cycling to primary school increased by 88% since 2016, to nearly 14,000 children.

Among the 388,373 secondary school children (aged 13 to 18 years), the car was also their main mode of transport at 41%, down from 42% in Census 2016. Cycling to secondary school rose by 79% between 2016 and 2022, to just over 13,000 children. Almost 77,800 children walked to school, up 5% since Census 2016. A bus was used by 26% of secondary school students for their travel to school.

For the 201,200 third level students, aged 19 years and over, the most common way of travelling to college was by bus at 25%. Driving a car was at 24% of students while 20% walked and 8% travelled by train, DART or LUAS. Just 4% cycled.

At a national level, the average journey time was shortest at 12 minutes for children aged 0 to 4 years followed by primary school-aged children at 12.2 minutes. Those aged between 13 and 18 years had an average journey time of 19.5 minutes while students aged 19 years and over had the longest journey times with an average of 37.1 minutes. Among towns with a population of 1,500 people or more, Dunmore East in Waterford recorded the longest average journey time (19.1 minutes) for children aged 5 to 12 years, while Newcastle in Dublin had the longest average (29.5 minutes) journey for children between the ages of 13 and 18 travelling to school or college.


The publication of Census 2022 results could not have been achieved without the overwhelmingly positive response from the public and we thank everyone who completed their census form on 03 April 2022. We would also like to thank everyone involved in the Census 2022 campaign culminating in today’s successful publication of the results.”

For more commentary on the Census 2022 Profile 7 Employment, Occupations and Commuting results, please see the Press Release.