The spatial extent and economic structure of rural labour markets in ireland
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The Spatial Extent and Economic Structure of Rural Labour Markets in Ireland. David Meredith. Research Context. Research commissioned by the Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Need for greater understanding of the potential rural impact of the current economic recession.

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The Spatial Extent and Economic Structure of Rural Labour Markets in Ireland

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The spatial extent and economic structure of rural labour markets in ireland

The Spatial Extent and Economic Structure of Rural Labour Markets in Ireland

David Meredith


Research context

Research Context

  • Research commissioned by the Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

    • Need for greater understanding of the potential rural impact of the current economic recession.

    • How many rural labour market areas (RLMAs) are there?

    • How many jobs are (were) available?

    • What economic sectors are the employment opportunities associated with?

    • What is the socio-economic and demographic profile of individual RLMAs?

    • What is the potential impact of the current economic recession on RLMAs?


Presentation overview

Presentation Overview

  • Presentation outlines

    • Changes in Ireland Population

    • Impacts on the Labour Force

  • Explores the size of regional economies

  • Assesses regional labour supply and demand at the NUTS II level

  • Identifies the need for rural labour market analysis

  • Applies a regionalisation algorithm to identify RLMAs

  • Analysis of the local importance of economic activities

  • Evaluation of the economic structure and labour profile of the Kilrush LLMA .


Population change 1986 2006

Population Change 1986 - 2006

  • Population growth focused on areas adjacent or proximal to cities and towns.

  • Population decline occurring IN urban centres and inaccessible rural places.


Labour force 1986 2006

Labour Force 1986 - 2006

  • Overall

    • Labour Force +59%

    • Unemployment -%

    • Seeking 1st job -%

  • 1986 – 1996

    • Growth concentrated in GDR and urban centres

  • 1996 – 2006

    • Employment growth is more dispersed

Census of Population


Changing structure of the labour force

Changing Structure of the Labour Force

Census of Population

  • Females

    • Growth of commercial (retail) and public sector employment.

  • Males

    • Rapid expansion of construction between 2002 - 2006


Regional employment growth

Regional Employment Growth


Data place of work census of anonymised records

Data: Place of Work - Census of Anonymised Records

  • Dataset produced from the 2006 Census of Population

  • Contains records detailing travel, demographic and socio-economic profile of the 1,834,472 persons who were

    • enumerated in a private household

    • 15 years old or over

    • enumerated at home

    • indicated that their Present Principal Status was working for payment or profit

  • The dataset contains spatial information regarding where the person lives and where they work.


Size of nuts iii regional workforces

Size of NUTS III Regional Workforces

Exclusion of NI / Overseas / Mobile and Unknown groups


Structure of regional economies 2006

Structure of Regional Economies (2006)


Nuts iii regional economies 2006

NUTS III Regional Economies 2006


The spatial extent and economic structure of rural labour markets in ireland

Spatial Assessment of Self Containment

  • Impact of Dublin on travel-to-work patterns of surrounding regions.

  • Accessibility of the Midland region

  • Location of towns and cities in the Southwest.

  • Spatial structure of Boarder region distorts the analysis.


Local labour markets

Local Labour Markets

  • Application of the Coombes Algorithm

    • Interaction between spaces

    • Critical thresholds of self-containment and labour force

  • Identifies 37 Local Labour Markets


Profiling llmas

Profiling LLMAs


Sectoral structure of llma economies construction

Sectoral Structure of LLMA Economies: Construction


Profile of the kilrush llma economy

Profile of the Kilrush LLMA Economy


Sectoral distribution of male and female workforce

Sectoral Distribution of Male and Female Workforce


Persons with 3 rd level education

Persons with 3rd Level Education


Sectoral age structure males

Sectoral age structure - Males


Sectoral age structure females

Sectoral age structure - Females


Rlma analysis findings

RLMA Analysis Findings

Analysis highlights structural features of the economy.

High level of dependence on agriculture, manufacturing and construction.

The structure of the local economy is divided between male (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Construction) and female (Public Admin and Education) dominated sectors.

Higher levels of education amongst females

Younger workers, male and female, are highly dependent on the construction sector.


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