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There are 79 unemployment blackspots in Ireland, with Limerick worst affected

Meanwhile, the number of women looking after the home or family has continued to decline.

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THERE ARE 79 unemployment blackspots in Ireland, according to Census figures released today.

The figures, compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), show that the worst affected areas are Limerick and Waterford – with 18 and nine blackspots respectively. A blackspot refers to an area with at least 200 people in the labour force where the unemployment rate is 27% or higher.

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Eight of the top 10 blackspots are in Limerick, with blackspots in the city and county having an average unemployment rate of 35.7%, while Waterford city and county blackspots have an unemployment rate of 31.5%.

Overall, the average unemployment rate in Limerick is 14.4%, and 15.4% in Waterford.

High unemployment rates are also the case in blackspots in Dublin city, Donegal, Cork city, Longford, Wexford, Cavan, Galway county, Tipperary and Westmeath – as outlined below.

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The number of people at work increased by 199,281 to reach 2,006,641 in April 2016. The number of females at work grew by 9% to 929,967, while there were 1,076,674 males at work – an increase of 12.8% since 2011. The number of retired people increased by 19.2% to 545,407.

During the same period, the population aged 15 and over increased by 146,651 (4.1%).

Looking after the home 

The number of women looking after the home or family continued to decline, falling by 11.5% between 2011 and 2016, while the number of men in this category increased by 15% over the five-year period – taking the total to 20,747, representing 6.8% of all homemakers.

The labour force participation rate fell slightly (-0.5%) to 61.4%. Male participation fell to 67.8%, bringing it back below 2002 rates, while female participation continued to increase and stood at 55.2% in April 2016.

When looked at nationality, the results show that the participation rate among Irish nationals was 59.5%, while among non-Irish nationals it was 73.9%.

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There were 293,830 non-Irish nationals at work in April 2016, an increase of 9.6% since April 2011.

Polish people account for the highest number of non-nationals working here – 75,508 – an increase of over 6,000 since 2011.

Next on the list are people from the UK (over 48,000 workers), Lithuania (over 21,600), Romania (over 17,000) and Latvia (almost 11,000).

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Employment by sector

In April 2016, almost four-fifths of those at work (78.6%) were employed in the services sector. Among females, 90.7% of all those in employment worked in this sector.

Health and Social Work saw the biggest increase in numbers employed, with 25,647 more people working in this area. Other sectors that experienced notable increases included Computer and Related Activities (up by 21,877, more than 50%) and Construction (up 15,092).

Some 5,991 fewer people worked in Public Administration and Defence, while 5,361 fewer people worked in Financial Intermediation (banking).

In terms of socio-economic grouping, the largest category was non-manual, with 996,696 people. The biggest increase (+67,169) occurred in the Lower Professional group. Both Own Account Workers (-17,493) and Farmers (-12,209) showed declines.

The population is also classified into one of seven social class groups ranked on the basis of occupation. In Census 2016, 28.1% of the population (1,336,896 persons) were in social class group two, Managerial and Technical. The only class to show a decline since 2011 was Skilled Manual, where numbers fell by 5%.


There were 427,128 students aged 15 and over in April 2016, an increase of 4.5% on the 2011 figure.

Males comprised 49.4% of this student population, up from 49.2% in 2011. Among those aged 19-22, females continue to have a higher participation in education with 59.5%, while the rate for males was 52.8%.


In April 2016, 1.88 million people were commuting to work, an increase of 10.7% on 2011. 73.3% of all workers travelled to work in a private vehicle, down from 75.5% in 2011. Some 9.3% of commuters – 174,569 people – used public transport, an increase of 30,144.

Cycling to work has shown the largest percentage increase of all means of transport, rising from 39,803 in 2011 to 56,837 in 2016, an increase of 42.8% over five years.

Among primary school students, 60% (327,039) were driven to school, while 10.4% (56,846) used public transport, down from 60,954 in 2011.

Health, Disability and Caring

Almost six in every 10 people (59.4%) stated that they had very good health in April 2016.

The numbers reporting themselves as having bad health increased from 57,243 to 62,697 while the numbers with very bad health also increased from 12,418 to 13,738. Among those aged 60 to 79, there has been a small increase in the percentage with good or very good health (up from 72.5% to 73.8%).

The number of people with a disability increased by 47,796 to 643,131, and accounted for 13.5% of the population in April 2016.

Some 195,263 people (4.1% of the population) provided unpaid care in 2016, an increase of 8,151 on 2011.

As well as the growth in the number of carers, Census 2016 shows that the time spent caring is also on the increase, with 83,754 people providing care for up to two hours per day (up from 80,891), while 41,185 people provided care for more than six hours a day (up from 39,982).

In April, the CSO released Census figures related to issues such as population, gender, religion, marriage and housing.

Read: One in 10 Irish people say they have no religion, the second largest group behind Roman Catholics

Read: Why do we have a census? Here’s what the statistics are used for

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