To kick me off on this pet project of mine I’ve chosen a simple extension of Horsemans last post on this subject. His data was taken from the NI Equality commision website as is mine. His data included the available information inclusive of 2008. I have the benefit of a further 2 years information which merely confirms the trends identifiable in 2008.

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Protestant 59.7% 59.2% 58.3% 57.7% 57.0% 56.3% 55.4% 54.8% 54.6% 54.1%
Catholic 40.3% 40.9% 41.7% 42.3% 42.3% 43.7% 44.6% 45.2% 45.4% 45.9%
Diff 19.4% 18.3% 16.6% 15.4% 14.7% 12.6% 10.8% 9.6% 9.2% 8.2%
Diff P -0.5% -0.9% -0.6% -0.7% -0.7% -0.9% -0.6% -0.2% -0.5%
Diff C 0.6% 0.8% 0.6% 0.0% 1.4% 0.9% 0.6% 0.2% 0.5%

Some key points here are worth observing:

  • Over a 9 year period there has been a 5.6% drop in Protestant background participants in the Labour force and a corresponding 5.6% increase in the Catholic partcipation rate
  • This represents an average swing of 1.2% each year.
  • At that rate parity will be achieved in 8 years time. ie: 2018

There are numerous talking points contained within these raw figures such as the influence of Equality legislation, the liklehood of a younger, Catholic demographic generally and the reduced public sector element of the workforce.

I hope to examine these in a future post in more detail

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