Quality of work in Northern Ireland statistics

The latest statistical release on the quality of work has been released today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA).

Statistics on the quality of work in Northern Ireland

This analysis builds on two previous publications and compares the quality of work in seven major sectors using eight statistical indicators. Comments on the latest version are provided below.

Introduction.

  • Job analysis tends to focus on the quantity, not the quality, of work. This analysis builds on two previous publications and compares the quality of work in seven major sectors using eight statistical indicators. The set of quality of work indicators includes subjective and objective measures, relates to employees aged 18 and over, and is drawn from the Labor Force Survey and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

Significant difference in quality of work between and within sectors.

  • The analysis of the quality of work highlights both the differences between sectors and the different aspects of the quality of work within sectors. Notable differences are observed between sectors for earnings above the real living wage (46 point range), flexible working (29 point range) and career progression (21 point range), while order and the extent of aspects of job quality vary by sector.
  • The most positive job quality indicator in 2021 at the NI level and in every sector was job security, where 95% of all employees were in permanent or temporary employment and did not want permanent employment. The least positive indicators were employee involvement in decision-making, career progression and flexible working, where around 50% met these criteria at the NI level. These indicators were the least positive for 5 of the 7 industries.
  • Of all sectors, the utilities sector, which includes public administration and defence, education and health and social work, had the highest number of above-average job quality indicators of the NI, with superior performances in 7 of the 8 indicators. Industries that performed below the NI average in most indicators were hospitality and retail, transportation and communications, and banking and finance (5 of 8 indicators).

Industry results.

  • In addition to reporting higher proportions than the NI average for seven out of eight quality of work indicators, the utilities sector reported the highest percentage of employees earning above the actual living wage (91%) and doing meaningful work (92%) from all sectors. .
  • The manufacturing sector was the most positive of all sectors for indicators of stable employment (99%) and neither under nor overemployed (88%). However, the manufacturing sector showed less positive statistics for flexible working, career progression and participation in decision-making.
  • The hospitality and retail sector reported employee percentages below the NI average for five of the eight indicators. Employees in this industry also had the lowest percentage of employees earning above the RLW (45%) and in stable employment across all industries, but reported higher levels of job satisfaction and job participation. decision-making than most sectors.
  • Employees in the banking and finance sector had the lowest levels of job satisfaction compared to other sectors and were below the NI average for four other indicators (salaries above RLW, meaningful work, career progression and involvement in the decision making). However, employees in this industry reported higher levels of flexible working, secure employment, and neither under nor overemployed than the NI average.
  • The transport and communications sector had the least positive statistics compared to other sectors for employee involvement in decision-making and neither under nor overemployed. The biggest difference seen in this sector was earnings above the Real Living Wage (RLW), which was 7pp higher than the NI average and higher than most sectors.
  • The construction sector recorded the highest level of career progression, but the lowest percentage of employees in flexible work and meaningful work. Similarly, the other services sector reported the highest levels of job satisfaction, involvement in decision-making and flexible working, but the lowest levels of career progression and a small proportion of higher earnings. at RLW. These two sectors together represent less than 10% of all employees.

Notes to Editors:

1. The statistical bulletin and the associated tables are available on the Quality of work in Northern Ireland – NISRA website July 2020 to June 2021 page.

2. A Quality of Work page, which also includes links to two previous publications and a live work plan, is available on the NISRA website.

3. This publication provides statistics for eight quality of work indicators: earnings, job security, neither underemployed nor overemployed, job satisfaction, meaningful work, career progression, employee participation in decision-making and flexible work. The earnings indicator comes from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and the other seven come from the Labor Force Survey (LFS).

4. Analysis is based on employees aged 18 or older between July 2020 and June 2021 (referred to as 2019/20), consistent with data available from ASHE.

5. The seven industries considered are utilities (including public administration and defence, education and health and social work), hospitality and retail, banking and finance, manufacturing , transport and communications, construction and other services (including arts, entertainment and recreation) . Full details can be found in Table 3 of the publication on the Quality of work in Northern Ireland: July 2020 to June 2021 Downloadable tables page from the NISRA website.

6. Definitions of the eight indicators of the quality of work can be found in table 1 of the publication on the Quality of work in Northern Ireland: July 2020 to June 2021 Downloadable tables.

7. The survey reference date for ASHE was during the Coronavirus pandemic and fell within the period of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant.

8. The Real Living Wage (RLW) is announced in November each year and is due to be implemented the following May. As such, it is likely that the previous year’s living wage was still in place when the survey was completed. The 2020 rate of £9.50 is therefore used to calculate the percentage of earnings above the RLW during the period covered by this release.

9. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency would like to thank participating households and businesses for their participation in the Labor Force Survey and the Annual Hours and Earnings Survey.

10. The report on the quality of work in Northern Ireland will be of interest to policy makers, public bodies, the business community, banks, economic commentators, academics and the general public with an interest in the local economy.

11. For media enquiries, contact the Department of Economy Press Office at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk.

12. To keep up to date with Department news, you can follow us on the following social networks:

13. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media inquiries between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and weekends and holidays. The permanent press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

14. Follow NISRA on Twitter – @NISRA

15. Comments are welcome and should be directed to the lead statistician: Jennifer McLoughlin, Economics and Labor Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), jennifer.mcloughlin@nisra.gov.uk or Tel: 028 905 29228.

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