Social and Care

Changing demographics is the primary driver of employment for these occupations. Government initiatives including the extension of the ECCE scheme, commitments to increase the quality of childcare provision, and incentives to increase female labour force participation may offset the decline in demand for childcare works due to demographic factors (i.e. fall in the number of 0-4-year-olds in the population).

Conversely, Ireland’s ageing population will drive the demand for care workers.

  • Overall employment: Approximately 118,800 persons (82% female) were employed in the selected social & care occupations, representing 5.3% of the national workforce,

  • Sector: 82% of overall employment was concentrated in the health sector.

  • Employment growth (5-year): Between 2013 and 2018, overall employment increased by 19,900 (3.7% on average annually compared to 3.1% nationally). The strongest rate of employment growth was observed for other caring services (13%) during the period.

  • Age: The 25-54 age group accounted for the majority of persons employed, at 72%. The share of employees aged 55 and over, at 19%, was slightly above the national average of 17%.

  • Education: The share of persons employed in the selected social & care occupations who had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications was 51%, above the national average share of 37%. Those who had attained third level qualifications (39%) was below the national average share (48%).

  • Full-time/part-time: Over 66% of social & care workers were in full-time employment.

  • Nationality: The share of non-Irish workers was below the national average of 16%, while 87% of workers were Irish nationals.

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