Work Quality in Northern Ireland: July 2020 to June 2021

Date published: 02 March 2022

The latest work quality in Northern Ireland statistical publication was released today for the period July 2020 to June 2021, and provides analysis by industry sector for eight work quality indicators sourced from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); earnings, secure employment, under/overemployment, job satisfaction, meaningful work, career progression, employee involvement in decision-making, and flexible working.

Key Points:

  • Secure employment was the most positive indicator for NI as a whole and across all industry sectors, which was lowest in hospitality and retail (93%) and highest in manufacturing (99%).
  • The three work quality indicators with the lowest proportions for NI as a whole were employee involvement in decision making, flexible work and opportunities for career progression (at approximately 50% of employees).
  • Whilst some indicators reported little variance across sectors (secure employment and neither under nor over employed), there are notable larger differences across sectors for earnings above the Real Living Wage (RLW) (range of 46 percentage points (pps)), flexible working (29pps range) and career progression (21pps range) indicators in particular.
  • The analysis shows that the public services sector reported higher proportions than the NI average for seven of the eight work quality indicators, and had the highest proportion of employees with earnings above the Real Living Wage (91%) and performing meaningful work (92%).
  • Less than half (45%) of hospitality and retail employees had earnings above the Real Living Wage, compared to almost 80% of all employees in NI.
  • Employees in the banking and finance industry reported similar proportions to the NI average for several indicators. The largest difference was lower levels of job satisfaction (by 7pps) compared to the NI average.
  • Transport and communication sector showed less positive responses than the NI average for five indicators, but a higher proportion with earnings above the RLW.
  • The construction industry had the lowest percentage of employees across sectors in flexible working (30%), but highest opportunities for career progression (59%).

The associated statistical bulletin and tables can be accessed on the Work Quality in NI July 2020 to June 2021 page. The tables contain breakdowns of sex, age, industry sector and industry section.

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