Large parts of the workforce in Munster are vulnerable to any prolonged economic crisis from the Covid-19 health fallout, new figures suggest, although the Cork area may get some sort of reprieve from the large number of people working in the chemicals and pharmaceutical industries.
The figures, which were produced for the Irish Examiner by the CSO, for the first time reveal the number of jobs that are likely to be the most vulnerable to the economic downturn in each region.
The figures also point to the locations that the Government should choose which will likely be most in need of any economic recovery package because they depend heavily on accommodation and retail services, the worst hit sectors in the Covid-19 crisis.
In the South-West region, which covers Cork and Kerry, the figures show that 48,400 people worked in wholesale and retail at the start of the crisis, while 32,000 people were employed in accommodation and food service.
At 10,700 jobs, the region has relatively few people employed in public administration, although it boasts some economic resilience with 40,700 people employed in healthcare at the start of the crisis.
The South-West also has a large number of industrial jobs, clustered in the Cork area, in chemicals and pharma, which will likely provide further resilience.
In the South-East region, which includes Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Wexford, there were 14,600 people employed in accommodation and food service, and 27,100 in wholesale and retail at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.
In the Mid-West, which covers Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary, there were 26,600 people employed in wholesale and retail, and 15,900 in accommodation and food service.
In the Dublin region, which includes the four local authority areas, there were also significant numbers employed in potential vulnerable areas, with 92,900 working in wholesale and retail, and 49,400 in accommodation and food service. However, the figures shoew that the Dublin region has huge numbers employed in the likely resilient areas such as the multinationals, which employ 84,800 people in information and communication alone, and almost 103,000 in healthcare; as well as 50,600 in public administration.
Economist Jim Power said the new figures suggest that across the State that there are a large number of employment in accommodation and retail which ae vulnerable and that in Kerry and Waterford and other counties which are particularly exposed.