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For the first time, Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland have same employment rates

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/26/17


Employment rates among Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland are now level, with both communities evenly matched in most types of jobs, according to a report. The statistics mark a transformation on 30 years ago, when the unemployment rate was twice as high in the Catholic community. But the new report shows that in four out of 13 industrial sectors, there were more Protestant employees, with the biggest disparity in agriculture, forestry and fishing, where 65% of employees were Protestant and 35% Catholic. However, the present rate of youth unemployment was higher for Protestants than Catholics, at 24% compared to 18%. Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the population aged 16 and over who reported as Protestant decreased by twelve percentage points from 56% to 44%, while the proportion who reported as Catholic increased by six percentage points from 38% to 44%. Over this period, the proportion of the population reported as ‘other/non-determined’ has doubled (from 6% to 12%). The labour force survey religion report said that between 1992 and 2015, there had been higher levels of economic activity among Protestants compared to Catholics. But the Executive Office research said rates have now converged with the same working age economic activity rate of 72%, and the same economic activity rate of 28%, for Protestants and Catholics.

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