## Employment

Open in Excel:

#### Hours worked per week is up 4.3 million hours in the year to Q3 2021 and up marginally from Q3 2019

Numbers Employed and Hours Worked

Using the standard Labour Force Survey (LFS) methodology, there were 2,471,200 persons in employment in Q3 2021 but 303,200 of those (12.3%) were "Away from work" in the reference week. This compares to 2,250,000 persons in employment in Q3 2020, of whom 253,800 (11.3%) were "Away from work" in the reference week.

The official number of persons in employment was up 9.8% (+221,200) in the year to Q3 2021. While the number of absences from work has increased over the year, the number of employed persons at work in the reference week has increased by 8.6% (+171,800). Therefore, there has been an increase of 6.0% or 4.3 million hours worked per week from 72.7 million hours in Q3 2020 to 77.1 million hours in Q3 2021.

The increase of 221,200 (+9.8%) in employment is composed of increases of 90,000 (+7.3%) for males and 131,300 (+12.8%) for females in the year to Q3 2021. See Tables 9.1 and 9.7.

Figure 3.1 Number of persons aged 15 - 89 years in employment, Quarter 3 2017 to Quarter 3 2021

Comparing figures from now to two years ago, there was an increase of 6.4% or +147,800 in the number of persons in employment since Q3 2019 when there were 2,323,400 persons in employment. At that time there were 217,300 employed persons (9.4%) “Away from work” in the reference week so the number of employed persons who were working in the reference week stood at 2,106,100. This increase in employment together with the increase in the number of absences from work in the reference week since Q3 2019 has resulted in a marginal increase in the number of hours worked per week from 77.0 million hours in Q3 2019 to 77.1 million hours in Q3 2021. See Table 7.3.

Figure 3.2 Total number of hours actually worked per week, Quarter 3 1998 to Quarter 3 2021

Employment Rates

The employment rate for those aged 15-64 was 72.2% in Q3 2021 compared to 66.4% in Q3 2020 and 69.5% in Q3 2019. In Q3 2021, the employment rate for males aged 15-64 years was 76.4% compared to 68.0% for females. Looking at the rates by age group, the employment rate was lowest among those aged 15-19 years (33.2%) and highest among those aged 35-44 years (83.3%). The employment rate for males was higher than the corresponding rate for females for all age groups, other than the 15-19 years age group, with differences of over 10 percentage points in the employment rates for all age groups aged 35-64 years. The employment rates for both males and females in the 15-19 year age group were the same at 33.2%. See Tables 9.1 and 9.8.

Figure 3.3 Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years by sex, Quarter 3 1998 to Quarter 3 2021

Economic Sector

Employment increased in all 14 economic sectors in the year to Q3 2021 with the level of employment in a number of sectors exceeding the levels from the same quarter in 2019. These include the:

• Professional, scientific and technical activities sector which was 24.3% or 32,200 higher in Q3 2021 when compared to Q3 2019
• Financial, insurance and real estate activities sector which was up 20.8% or 23,700 when compared to Q3 2019

Some sectors have not yet recovered fully from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the most notable of these are the:

• Administrative and support service activities sector which was 5.6% or 6,100 less in Q3 2021 than it was in Q3 2019
• Construction sector, which was down by 2.3% or 3,500 from Q3 2019

See Table 9.2 and Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 Persons aged 15 - 89 years in employment classified by NACE Rev. 2 Economic Sector, Quarter 3 2019 and Quarter 3 2021

Employment Status

The number of employees increased by 191,600 (+10.0%) in the year ending Q3 2021 to 2,115,600, while the number of self-employed increased by 24,700 (+7.9%) to 337,000. See Table 9.5.

Employment increased by 221,200 in the year to Q3 2021, with 108,900 (+6.0%) more persons in full-time employment and 112,300 (+26.7%) more persons in part-time employment. See Table 9.1.

Figure 3.5 Persons aged 15 - 89 years in employment classified by sex and full-time/part-time status, Quarter 3 2017 to Quarter 3 2021

NUTS 3 Regions

Employment increased over the year in all eight NUTS 3 regions with the Border region enjoying the largest percentage increase at 18.8% compared to the West region with the lowest at 6.6%.  See Table 9.9.

Figure 3.6 Persons aged 15 - 89 years in employment by NUTS 3 Region, Quarter 3 2020 and Quarter 3 2021
` `

Next chapter>>Unemployment