Galway’s critical importance as a centre of employment for the west is underlined in a new report this week which reveals that over a quarter of all western workers, from Donegal to Clare, live in what is known as the city labour catchment area.
That amounts to just over 70,000 workers – or almost 27 per cent of the total resident ‘at work’ population within the western region.
The report – carried out by the Western Development Commission – also found that workers who live in the Galway city labour catchment have a higher level of education than the national average.
The in-depth research was designed to track the commuting patterns of those at work in the Western Region.
That defined that Galway City labour catchment as most of the county itself and extends beyond the county boundary, to the north into Mayo and to the south into Clare.
The number of workers living in the catchment is more than double the number of workers living in Galway city, highlighting the significantly larger labour supply available.
“This is significant in the context of the recently published Project Ireland 2040, where urban centres such as Galway will be expected to grow in importance,” explained Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst at the WDC.
“The forthcoming Regional Economic and Spatial Strategies will have to set out plans to support greater growth in urban centres and employment growth is central to this,” she added.
Of those living in the Galway City labour catchment, 55.3% (38,808) are employed within Galway city and suburbs and 44.7% (31,362) are employed outside the city and in the rest of the catchment and beyond.
Key destinations outside the city include Galway Rural (22.3% or 15,620), Tuam (1.8% or 1,285) and Athenry (1.8% or 1,248).
The research also found that workers are willing to commute long distance to employment locations within Galway city.
“There is a higher proportion of workers travelling into Galway city to work before 7.30am than in any of the other catchments. This is likely to be related to distance travelled, congestion on some routes and shift work,” said Deirdre Frost.
See full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.