Apr 19th, 2011 by Conor McCabe
Since 2008, the number of middle class jobs in Ireland has fallen by about five per cent. During the same time, the number of working class jobs has fallen by about 15 per cent - three times the rate of that for professional and managerial occupations.
However, when we look at the amount of jobs lost since 2008, in terms of that figure, four out of every five has been a working class job.
The breakdown into middle class and working class occupations as used above is based on the Quarterly Household Survey’s detailed breakdown of occupations, 2004-2010, which is available on request from the CSO.
I’ve assigned each occupation according to the definition of class as a power relation. Class is not a category, but we have to categorize jobs and occupations in order to get an understanding of the power relations within the economy. And what are categorized here are jobs, not people. They are inter-related, of course, but this is not a social class study. This is about economic class relations. There’s a strong correlation between both, but one does not determine the other.
My breakdown of each class, based on the Q4 2010 survey, is below. The CSO does not list figures for occupations with less than 1,000 persons. This is because the Quarterly Household Survey is a sample survey, and with figures of less than 1,000 the estimates become unreliable. For more information on the Quarterly Household Survey, click here.
The CSO has its own broad occupation groups. These are:
1. Managers and administrators
3. Associate professional and technical
4. Clerical and secretarial
5. Craft and related
6. Personal and protective service
8. Plant and machine operatives
9. Other broad occupational groups
If we take the first three as reflective of middle class occupations, we get a graph something like this:
The CSO data for broad occupational groups is here.