The number of people employed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector has increased by 6,500 in quarter one (Q1) 2024, when compared to Q1 last year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

In Q1 2024, 108,500 people aged 15-89 years were employed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, compared to 102,000 employees during the same period last year.

This represents a 6.4% increase year-on-year which was due to a rise in the number of male employees, balancing out a decline in the number of females employed in the sector.

The number of male employees in agriculture, forestry and fishing rose from 85,500 in Q1 2023 to 94,500 in Q1 2024, while the number of females fell form 16,400 to 14,000, the Labour Force Survey for Q1 2024 shows.

The sector’s current labour force in Q1 2024 at 108,500 employees is below the two previous quarters, with 112,900 people employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Q4 2023, and 114,700 in Q3 2023.

Between Q1 2022 and Q2 2023, the number of people employed in the sector gradually declined from 106,300 in Q1 2022, to 103,500 in Q4 2022; 102,000 in Q1 2023; and 101,900 in Q2 2023, according to CSO figures.

CSO labour statistics

The Labour Force Survey is a continuous, nationwide survey of households in Ireland, primarily designed to produce quarterly labour force estimates, including the official measures of employment and unemployment.

Persons who worked in the week before the survey for one hour or more for payment or profit, including work on the family farm or business, and all persons who had a job but were not at work because of illness, holidays etc. are considered “in employment”.

The CSO notes that as per Eurostat’s (the statistical office of the EU) operational implementation, the upper age limit for classifying a person as “employed” is 89 years.