Key points for selected legal and security occupations
- In 2014, there were approximately 36,000 persons employed in legal and security occupations, representing 1.9% of Ireland’s workforce (Figure 9.8.1)
- Almost 70% of overall employment was concentrated in public administration and defence, while a further 25% was in professional, scientific and technical activities
- Over the period 2009 to 2010, overall employment in legal and security occupations increased from 37,000 to 43,000, but then declined to just below the 2009 level by 2014; over the five year period, employment levels remained relatively static for all occupations (Figure 9.8.2)
- Between 2013 and 2014, overall employment contracted by 1.6%; this was in contrast to positive growth of 1.7% nationally; employment of Gardaí and protective service occupations grew at rates higher than the national average, at 2.9% and 9.2% respectively; the absolute employment increases for these occupations were small in magnitude
- Almost 90% of persons employed in legal and security occupations was aged 25-54 (Figure 9.8.3)
- Almost all persons employed as legal professionals (i.e. barristers, judges, solicitors and related legal professionals) had attained third level qualifications; at the lower end of the educational spectrum, one fifth of army personnel had attained lower secondary or less qualifications (Figure 9.8.4)
- Most of those employed in legal and security occupations were Irish males who worked full-time.
There were 10,000 legal professionals (including judges, barristers and solicitors) employed in Ireland in 2014.
With over 1,500 law graduates from NFQ level 8 and above courses in 2014, the supply from the education and training system appears to be sufficient to meet the recruitment requirement (which is estimated at less than a 1,000).
There has been an increase in the number of Gardaí recently, however, any further increases will depend on Government policy.