The dynamism of smaller towns across the county has resulted in significant increases in the number of people working locally – according to a new study from the Western Development Commission.
The local studies examine the various labour catchments across the county, that area from which a town draws most of its workforce.
In Tuam labour catchment alone, the number of people working in the town has almost doubled – from 1,000 in 2006 to almost 2,000 a decade later.
Other labour catchments across the county are showing similar patterns of growth – an increase of 32.8% was recorded in Loughrea and 13.8% in Clifden.
Only the Gort labour catchment saw a decline in resident workers – down 15.6% – with a significant proportion of the town’s total workforce commuting to places of employment in Galway City.
The WDC studied Census data from 2016, comparing some statistics with 2006.
The study found that manufacturing continues to play a significant role in local employment in Galway’s smaller labour catchments.
It found that while wholesale, retail and commerce is the main sector in Clifden labour catchment with 42% of the catchment area’s workers employed in this area, manufacturing accounts for close to one fifth of the Gort labour catchment resident workforce.
It was also a vital employment sector in the Loughrea (25.4%) and Tuam labour catchments (26.1% of jobs)
The studies also found that the number of people who live in Tuam LC but who now work in Galway city, or suburbs, increased from 833 in 2006 to 1,200 in 2016.
Manufacturing accounts for double the state average of workers in Tuam – Valeo Vision accounts for a large element of this and some of those employed by the company work in Research and Development.
While Gort LC recorded a decrease in resident workers between 2006 and 2016 this is, in part, due to the size of the catchment which decreased in 2016.
A large number of workers across the county continue to make long commutes for work.
One hundred people commute from Clifden labour catchment or LC to Galway City and suburbs – while ten of the town’s residents list Dublin city as their place of employment.
And in Loughrea LC, workers who live in the area work in locations such as Galway City, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Gort, Portumna, Dublin City, Athenry and Oranmore.
There was good news for rural Galway too with analysis showing a vibrancy in rural employment in the county.
Western Development Commission policy analyst Deirdre Frost said the figures showed that smaller town labour catchments across Galway were not just holding their own but increasing new and varied career options for those who want to live and work locally.
Rural employment was still very important in County Galway, she said.
“Some of these workers are likely to avail of e-working and facilities at enterprise hubs which can reduce travel time,” she added.
“The growth of employment in Tuam is very noticeable and the figures indicate a spread of employment opportunities across the county, thanks in part to better transport links such as the M6 motorway and people making lifestyle choices for their families,” she concluded.