Hours worked per week is up 14.9 million hours in the year to Q2 2021 but still down 2.6 million hours per week from Q2 2019
Numbers Employed and Hours Worked
Using the standard Labour Force Survey (LFS) methodology, there were 2,349,100 persons in employment in Q2 2021 but 220,900 of those (9.4%) were "Away from work" in the reference week. This compares to 2,138,100 persons in employment in Q2 2020, of whom 468,500 (21.9%) were "Away from work" in the reference week.
The official number of persons in employment was up 9.9% (+211,000) in the year to Q2 2021. However, because the number of absences from work has fallen over the year, the number of employed persons at work in the reference week has increased by 27.5% (+458,600). Therefore, there has been an increase of 24.4% or 14.9 million hours worked per week from 61.0 million hours in Q2 2020 to 75.9 million hours in Q2 2021.
The increase of 211,000 (+9.9%) in employment is composed of increases of 88,000 (+7.5%) for males and 123,000 (+12.8%) for females in the year to Q2 2021. See Tables 9.1 and 9.7.
Comparing figures from now to two years ago, there was an increase of 2.3% or +52,900 in the number of persons in employment since Q2 2019 when there were 2,296,200 persons in employment. At that time there were 142,800 employed persons (6.2%) “Away from work” in the reference week so the number of employed persons who were working in the reference week stood at 2,153,400. This increase in employment together with the increase in the number of absences from work in the reference week since Q2 2019 has resulted in a fall of 2.6 million (-3.4%) in the number of hours worked per week from 78.5 million hours in Q2 2019 to 75.9 million hours in Q2 2021. See Table 9.1.
The employment rate for those aged 15-64 was 68.6% in Q2 2021 compared to 63.2% in Q2 2020 and 69.0% in Q2 2019. In Q2 2021, the employment rate for males aged 15-64 years was 73.4% compared to 63.9% for females. Looking at the rates by age group, the employment rate was lowest among those aged 15-19 years (19.2%) and highest among those aged 35-44 years (81.5%). The employment rate for males was higher than the corresponding rate for females for all age groups with differences of over 11 percentage points in the rates for those aged 35-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-59 years and 60-64 years. See Tables 9.1 and 9.8.
Employment increased in all 14 economic sectors in the year to Q2 2021 with the level of employment in a number of sectors exceeding the levels from the same quarter in 2019. However, some sectors have not yet recovered fully from the effects of the Pandemic and the most notable of these are:
See Table 9.2 and Figure 3.4.
The number of employees increased by 206,500 (+11.4%) in the year ending Q2 2021 to 2,020,900 while the number of self-employed fell slightly to 306,600. See Table 9.5.
Employment increased by 211,000 in the year to Q2 2021, with 101,800 (+5.8%) more persons in full-time employment and 109,200 (+29.7%) more persons in part-time employment. See Table 9.1.
NUTS 3 Regions
Employment increased over the year in all eight NUTS 3 regions with the Border region enjoying the largest percentage increase at 19.6% compared to South-West region with the lowest at 7.5%. See Table 9.9.