What We Do

Domain Overview: Across the UK people live many different lifestyles based on individual choices, characteristics, personal preferences and circumstances.

Individuals divide their time between various tasks and activities, including paid or unpaid employment, volunteering and various leisure activities. What we do in life shapes our lifestyles, our relationships with others and our overall wellbeing.

The 6 measures in the What We Do domain are:

  • Unemployment rate
  • Mostly or completely satisfied with their job
  • Mostly or completely satisfied with their amount of leisure time
  • Volunteered more than once in the last 12 months
  • Engaged with/participated in arts or cultural activity at least 3 times in last year
  • Adult participation in at least 150 minutes of sport and physical activities a week

What we do charts Latest findings

  • NI has had a lower unemployment rate than the UK for much of the last decade until June - August 2012.  The NI and UK rates were broadly similar until December - February 2015, when the NI rate moved above the UK rate for 11 consecutive quarters.  In the 3 months to the end of February 2018, the Northern Ireland unemployment rate was 3.5%, while the overall UK average rate was 4.2%.  Information on the labour market in Northern Ireland is reported on a monthly basis in the Northern Ireland Labour Market Report.
  • Data from the Understanding Society Longitudinal Study shows that more than half of respondents in Northern Ireland indicated that they were mostly or completely satisfied with their job.  This was comparable with the UK generally.  At 47% in 2015/16,  the proportion of Northern Ireland respondents indicating that they were mostly or completely satisfied with their amount of leisure time was also similar to the UK overall (45%).
  • Understanding Society data are also used to assess the level of volunteering.  In 2014/15, the proportion of NI respondents indicating that they do unpaid voluntary work more than once a year was lower than that in the UK overall (14% and 19% respectively).  In previous years, there was no significant difference.
  • The ONS National Wellbeing measure on arts/cultural engagement is available for England only (2016/17: 82%).  It is not possible to obtain a directly comparable figure for Northern Ireland, however an analysis of Continuous Household Survey data by the Department for Communities using a ‘best fit’ of the definition used by ONS, shows that In Northern Ireland in 2016/17, 63% of adults engaged with/participated in arts or cultural activities at least three times in the last year.
  • The National Wellbeing measure on sports participation is also available for England only (2016/17: 62% of adults participated in at least 150 minutes of sport and physical activities a week).  Data in relation to sports participation from the NI Continuous Household Survey shows that, in 2016/17, 40% of adults participated in 150 minutes or more of sport per week, however as this survey uses different definitions and methods of collection the two figures are not directly comparable.

Do you want to know more? – Office for National Statistics Wellbeing.

10 National Wellbeing Domains

Personal wellbeing          Our relationships           Health           What we do

             Where we live          Personal finance          The economy

Education and skills          Governance          The natural environment

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