Work quality

Work quality statistics released to date contain a number of indicators primarily sourced from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), alongside an earnings indicator sourced from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).

Latest results

The latest work quality statistics were released on 28th February 2023, and contained analysis over time for eight work quality indicators for employees aged 18 and over for the years July 2019 to June 2020, July 2020 to June 2021, and July 2021 to June 2022. 

Additional tables containing age and sex breakdowns were also included in the accompanying tables.

Key Points:

  • Since 2020, there have been significant increases in five of the eight indicators; earnings above the Real Living Wage, involvement in decision making, opportunities for career progression, neither under nor over employed and flexible work.
  • The five most achievable indicators for NI employees are secure employment, being neither under nor over employed, performing meaningful work, earnings above the Real Living Wage and job satisfaction, with four out of five employees meeting these criteria between 2020 and 2022.
  • The three consistently lowest indicators; involvement in decision making, opportunities for career progression and flexible work; have each seen significant increases since 2020 (around 6pps), however they all remained below 60% in 2022.
  • Secure employment has remained the most positive indicator over time with nearly all NI employees being in secure employment between 2020 (96%) and 2022 (96%).
  • The largest significant increase across the indicators was for earnings above the Real Living Wage which increased 11 percentage points between 2020 (74%) and 2022 (85%).
  • In 2022, considerably more employees aged 40 and over (90%) reported earnings above the Real Living wage than those aged 18 to 39 (80%).
  • The proportion of employees who reported having good opportunities for career progression increased across all cohorts examined (age and sex), however, only female employees and employees aged 40 and over had statistically significant increases since 2021 at 6pps and 7pps respectively.
  • The proportion of male employees with an involvement in decision making increased significantly over the year to 2022 by 7pps, where the proportion for male employees (59%) is now higher than that of female employees (57%).
  • Across all indicators, flexible work has shown the largest difference between males and females since 2020. However, the gap has decreased from 20pps in 2020 to 18pps in 2022.

Latest publications

Previous publications and tables

Work plan

Background information

User requested data

Labour market statistics are published regularly throughout the year. We also produce bespoke tables if users request data that are not already available.

A list of published bespoke tables is available from the User requested data page

Information on user events and consultations is available on the Labour Market Statistics User Engagement page.

ELMS publication schedule

Upcoming publication dates from the Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch, including all Work Quality publications can be found via the publication schedule page

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