Sligo has lowest employment growth rate in the country

Five of the six counties with lowest rates are in the west, along with Tipperary

Sligo performed particularly poorly in labour-intensive sectors such as construction and industry. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Sligo performed particularly poorly in labour-intensive sectors such as construction and industry. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Sligo has the lowest employment growth rate of any county nationwide, research by the Western Development Commission shows.

The commission found that five of the six counties with the lowest employment growth rates – Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Clare – are in the west, while Tipperary is also in the bottom half dozen.

Total employment in Sligo grew just 2.2 per cent between 2011 and 2016, significantly below the 11 per cent national average, the comparison of labour market data from the last two censuses shows.

The county performed particularly poorly in labour-intensive sectors such as construction and industry, even compared to other western counties where there is little evidence of a jobs recovery.

Mayo had the second lowest employment growth rate in the State, at just 4.8 per cent.

In Leitrim the overall increase in jobs was 6.3 per cent, also considerably less than the national average, but the numbers employed in industry there rose by 20 per cent – twice the national average, albeit from a low base.

Expansion of the medical devices sector accounted for the 255 additional jobs in industry in the county.

There was also a 20 per cent hike (2,100 additional jobs) in employment in industry in Co Galway from 2011 to 2016. In Sligo just nine extra jobs were created in industry in the same period, representing a rise of just 0.3 per cent.