CORK is the driving force behind the recovery of the labour market in Munster, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The Census data, released this week, back up claims that Cork is the fastest growing region in the country and a potential counterweight to Dublin’s population.
It shows that Cork dominates in Munster when it comes to the growing number of people in the workforce and the number of people who returned to work after the recession.
The total labour force in Munster rose by 10,206 since 2011, up to 602,432 workers. The vast majority of this was in Cork where the increase was 9,231 workers, up to 257,603 people.
The total number of people at work in Cork rose by 22,870 to 230,373.
The data also reinforced the view that rural Ireland is being left behind with large swathes of the country now being sucked into cities and urban areas for work.
The largest sector of employment in Cork is manufacturing, with 33,010 people making up 14.3% of the total working population.
That’s followed closely by the wholesale and retail trade at 30,849. Just over 10%, 25,187 people, are in the human health and social work sectors, while there are 20,589 in the education sector, and 13,579 in professional, scientific and technical activities, rounding out the top five.
There were 12,066 persons working in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector (5.2%), compared with 12,529 in April 2011.
A further 11,850 persons (5.1%) worked in construction, compared with 10,786 five years previously.
The information and communication sector has had one of the biggest increases in employment, with 3,465 more people, going up to 9,991 workers. This was reflected nationally, with IT activities showed the largest increase, rising by 21,262 (almost 56.0%) to reach 59,376 in 2016.
This was followed by residential care and social work activities which showed a 24.0% rise from 82,900 to 102,700.
The largest decreases were in financial service activities down from 54,027 to 46,674 in 2016 and in public administration, down nearly 5,000 to 83,687.
Unemployment in Cork has dropped by close to 13,000 since 2011, to 27,230. This is an unemployment rate of 12.4%, compared with 16.5% in April 2011.
Nationally, the unemployment rate recorded by Census 2016 was 12.9%.
The labour force in Cork was split 50,483 in the city to 198,177, although this reflects where people live, not where they work, and a large portion of those in the county figures would work in the city.
The most common job in the county is farmer, with 9,786, which is down from 10,570 in 2011. This was closely followed by sales and retail assistants, with 8,283 workers, up from 8,125 in 2011.
The most common job for those who live in the city is sales and retail assistant, with 3,273 workers, down from 3,452 in 2011, although more than 5,447 people listed themselves under the category of ‘other administrative occupations’.