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 2nd March 2022, which contained analysis by industry sector for eight work quality indicators for employees aged 18 and over between July 2020 and June 2021. 

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

The definitions for the eight work quality indicators can be found in table 1 of the latest publication. 

Key points

  • Secure employment was the most positive indicator across 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%).

Latest publication

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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