More Catholics than Protestants unemployed statistics reveal

Thu, 08/12/2011 - 11:54 -- Editor

More Catholics than Protestants are economically inactive according to the Labour Force Survey. The statistics showed that in 2010, 45% of those in employment aged 16 and over were Roman Catholic compared to 55% Protestant. It also revealed that the composition of those of working age who were economically inactive was 48% Protestant and 52% Roman Catholic.

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) today published figures relating to religion analysis of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The Labour Force Survey is a sample survey conducted in all member states of the European Union.
Labour force religion figures for 2010 are placed in the context of those from 1992 onwards. Religious denomination refers to only those in the survey who identified themselves as either Roman Catholic or Protestant.

In August 2010, following a UK consultation, the Office for National Statistics changed the LFS definition of ‘working age’ for women from 16-59 to 16-64, which matches that for men. This has the effect of reducing the overall working age economic activity levels slightly and tables have been provided in the report for both the old and new definitions for comparison purposes. A further update on the effect of the change in definition will be provided at a later date.

Demographic Characteristics

  • In 2010 the religious composition of the population of working age in the LFS was found to be 53% Protestant and 47% Roman Catholic.
  • In comparison to the Roman Catholic population, the Protestant population has an older age profile with, for example, almost two in three people aged 60 or over being Protestant.

Economic Activity

  • The economically active includes those in employment and those unemployed who were looking for work and available for work.
  • In 2010, Roman Catholics comprised 45% of the economically active of working age whilst Protestants comprised 55%.
  • The economic activity rates of those of working age in 2010 remained higher for Protestants (73%) than for Roman Catholics (68%).

Economic Inactivity

  • The economically inactive excludes those in employment and those unemployed looking for work and available to start work.
  • In 2010 the composition of those of working age who were economically inactive was 48% Protestant and 52% Roman Catholic.

Employment

  • In 2010, 45% of those in employment aged 16 and over were Roman Catholic compared to 55% Protestant.
  • The proportions of working age Protestants in employment over the period 1992 to 2010 have been consistently higher than those of Roman Catholics. However, the proportion of working age Roman Catholics in employment has risen from 54% in 1992 to 61% in 2010. The proportion of working age Protestants in employment in 2010 was 69% compared to 70% in 1992.

Unemployment

  • The unemployment rates of both Protestants and Roman Catholics have fallen over the period 1992 to 2010. In 2010, the unemployment rate of Roman Catholics was 9% compared to 6% for Protestants.
  • In 2010, 54% of those unemployed were Roman Catholic, compared to 46% Protestant.
  • In 2010, the unemployment differential between Roman Catholics and Protestants expressed as a ratio of unemployment rates was 1.4, that is, the unemployment rate of Roman Catholics was 1.4 times that of Protestants.
  • In 2010, the unemployment gap between Roman Catholics and Protestants expressed as the absolute difference between the two unemployment rates was 3% compared to a high of 9% in 1992.