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1 Working in Rural Ireland Mark O’ Brien and Thia Hennessy Mark O’ Brien and Thia Hennessy Rural Economy Research Centre, Athenry This research is funded.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Working in Rural Ireland Mark O’ Brien and Thia Hennessy Mark O’ Brien and Thia Hennessy Rural Economy Research Centre, Athenry This research is funded."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Working in Rural Ireland Mark O’ Brien and Thia Hennessy Mark O’ Brien and Thia Hennessy Rural Economy Research Centre, Athenry This research is funded by the Research Stimulus Fund 2005

2 2 Outline  Changing Sectors of Employment  Regional Implications  Changing Role of Agriculture  Emergence of Part-Time Farming  Sustainability of Part-Time Farming  Longer Outlook for Labour Market

3 3 Introduction  The structure of the Irish Labour Market has transformed.  Traditional sectors (e.g. Agri & Industrial Production) have declined in importance  The decline in the importance of these sectors has been replaced by;  Electronics.  Pharmaceuticals and medical instrumentation.  Construction.  Tourism.  Internationally traded financial sectors.

4 4 Annual Average Employment Growth by Sector, and Source: CSO

5 5  Are the changes in employment regionally balanced?  The country is divided into 3 regions:  DME which comprises of Dublin and the Mid-East.  BMW which is the Border, Midlands and West region.  REST region which is composed of the Mid West, South East and South West.  Employment by Sector Regional Implications

6 6 Employment in Regions by Sector 2005 Source: CSO

7 7 Employment in Regions by Sector 2005 Source: CSO

8 8 Employment in Regions by Sector 2005 Source: CSO

9 9 Employment in Regions by Sector 2005 Source: CSO

10 10 Regional Implications BMW and REST more reliant on traditional industries. BMW and REST more reliant on traditional industries. These regions are also dependent on construction? These regions are also dependent on construction? DME has more knowledge based jobs. DME has more knowledge based jobs. Can Rural Areas compete for knowledge based jobs? Can Rural Areas compete for knowledge based jobs? Forfás predict that 68% of new employment in the period 2004 to 2010 will require third level qualifications. Forfás predict that 68% of new employment in the period 2004 to 2010 will require third level qualifications.

11 11 Educational Attainment Levels of regions Source: CSO Census 2002

12 12 The Changing Role of Agriculture

13 13 Outline Decreasing numbers employed in Agriculture Decreasing numbers employed in Agriculture More farmers relying on Non-Farm Income More farmers relying on Non-Farm Income Policy accelerating this shift Policy accelerating this shift Sustainability of this trend? Sustainability of this trend?

14 14 Employment in Agriculture Source: CSO

15 15 Increased reliance on Off-farm Income Percentage of Farm Households with off-farm jobs, Sources: Teagasc (National Farm Survey)

16 16 Economic Groupings Of Farms  Viable: A farm is economically viable if it can;  (a) remunerate family labour at the average agricultural wage, and  (b) provide a 5 per cent return on non-land assets.  Sustainable: Farms may be non-viable but farmer and/or spouse may work off farm.  Vulnerable: Non-viable farms where neither farmer nor spouse work off-farm

17 17 Viability of Farming  The Agri-Vision 2015 report concluded that:  1. The number of economically viable farm businesses is in decline.  2. A large number of farm households are sustainable only because of the presence of off-farm income.  NFS 2004 data show;  30 per cent of the farms were economically viable.  54 per cent were sustainable.  16 per cent were vulnerable.  Without off-farm employment, 70 per cent of the farm families would be in a vulnerable position.  The long term sustainability of farming depends on the availability of off-farm employment.

18 18 Impact of Policy Decoupling reduced the return to farm labour. Decoupling reduced the return to farm labour. Our Economic Modelling suggests more farmers and spouses will seek off-farm employment. Our Economic Modelling suggests more farmers and spouses will seek off-farm employment. Will they be able to secure jobs in the ever changing economy? Will they be able to secure jobs in the ever changing economy?

19 19 Current Employment - Operator Employment by Sector for Farm Operators Source: NFS

20 20 Future Employment - Operator 50% of farm operators are employed in traditional industries and construction. 50% of farm operators are employed in traditional industries and construction. The Outlook for these sectors is not good – as Jasmina Behan will outline The Outlook for these sectors is not good – as Jasmina Behan will outline Educational attainment levels are a good indicator to the ability to attain non-farm employment in the changing economy Educational attainment levels are a good indicator to the ability to attain non-farm employment in the changing economy

21 21 Source: CSO Education Profile of Working Age Farmers (2004)

22 22 Current Employment - Spouse Source: NFS Employment by Sector for Spouses

23 23 Employment Prospects Farmers employed in traditional industries and construction Farmers employed in traditional industries and construction Long term prospects poor Long term prospects poor Re-training required Re-training required Spouses mostly employed in Education & Health. Spouses mostly employed in Education & Health. Better Long Term Prospects. Better Long Term Prospects.

24 24 Conclusions  Changing Structures of Employment.  Traditional industries in decline.  Regions such as BMW and REST more reliant on traditional industries and construction.  The number of economically viable farm businesses is in decline.  Farm operator’s off-farm employment tended to be employed in the more “traditional” sectors and construction - Sectors in decline.  Farm Operators have low levels of education  Therefore re-training of farm operators is required.


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