Agriculture and Animal Care

Employment in these occupations fell in the five-year period examined. However, issues have been identified by employers through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in attracting and retaining persons in the areas of horticulture (e.g. fruit and mushroom pickers) and dairy farming. As such, a quota of employment permits has been issued for this sector in order to address the labour shortages that are occurring.

  • Overall employment: Approximately 114,100 persons (88% male) were employed in the selected agriculture & animal care occupations, representing 5.1% of the national workforce.

  • Sector: 85% of overall employment was concentrated in the agriculture sector.

  • Employment growth (5-year): Between 2013 and 2018, overall employment decreased by 0.3% on average annually during the period.

  • Age: The 25-54 age group accounted for 46% of persons employed. Almost half of those employed were aged 55 and above, more than twice the national average of 17%.

  • Education: These occupations had the highest share of persons employed with a lower secondary education or less, at 42% compared to 12% nationally. Only 16% had attained a third level qualification.

  • Full-time/part-time: Over 81% of agriculture & animal care workers were in full-time employment.

  • Nationality: The share of non-Irish workers was well below the national average of 16%, while 96% of workers were Irish nationals.

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