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Labour Input

The most recent data available on labour input on farms is also from the CSO's Farm Structures Survey. Total labour input was calculated as 143,800 annual work units, of which two-thirds was provided by the farm-holders, 30% by other family members and 5% was hired. Since 2000, the number involved in farm work in some way has declined by 6% from 258,000 to 242,000.


Data from the National Farm Survey 2009 can be used to examine the extent to which there is excess labour supply on farms. On average, labour input on Irish farms is estimated to exceed labour requirements by 44%. Under-employment is particularly evident on part-time drystock farms, whilst full-time farms, particular dairy and tillage, have less labour available than required.