Key points

Overall trends

  • The discussion below focuses on the medium term trends (over the last decade or so) rather than the shorter term changes arising from the current recession.
  • Between 2001 and 2011, the total number of jobs in Northern Ireland grew by 10%, or 65,000 jobs.  Note that all of this increase was in the first half of the decade.
  • The biggest increase in jobs in Northern Ireland has been in finance and other business activities, up by 30% (40,000 additional jobs).
  • By contrast, there has been a 15% fall in the number of jobs in the production industries, equating to around 35,000 fewer jobs.  Most of this fall has been since 2008.
  • This pattern of an increase in total jobs, combined with a decrease in the number of jobs in the production industries, has occurred throughout most of the United Kingdom as well as in Northern Ireland.
  • Around a third of all jobs in Northern Ireland are in the public sector.  This is a similar proportion to a decade ago.  It is a slightly higher proportion than that in most of the regions of Great Britain, but only by a few percentage points.

Jobs in the production industries

  • Looking at the change of jobs within the production industries in more detail, all of the fall has been in manufacturing (down by a fifth).  By contrast, the number of jobs in construction is similar to a decade ago.

Jobs by gender

  • Between 2001 and 2011, the number of jobs has increased for both men and women and for both full-time and part-time work.  This is despite the fall in the last two years.  In proportional terms, the biggest increases have been in part-time jobs, up by a fifth.
  • Many male jobs are in production industries where, as discussed above, the total number of jobs has fallen.  More specifically, 40% of male full-time jobs are in production, compared to 10% of female full-time jobs and less than 10% of part-time jobs.
  • By contrast, around half of female full-time jobs – and almost half of all part-time jobs – are in the public sector compared to only a fifth of male jobs.
  • Women hold the majority of all jobs in the personal services sector and in administrative & secretarial services.  Both professional and elementary jobs are divided almost equally between women and men.  Around a third of management jobs are held by women.  Women hold a tenth or fewer of the jobs in the process, plant and machine operative sector and in skilled trades.

Definitions and data sources

The data in all the graphs includes both employed and self-employed people (technically ‘workforce jobs’).

The first graph shows total number of jobs over time, with the data broken down into four overall sectors, namely: manufacturing, construction and other production industries (Standard Industrial Classification or SIC 2007 codes A-F); wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants (SIC 2007 codes G and I); finance and other business activities (SIC 2007 codes H plus J-N); and public sector and other community services (SIC 2007 codes O-S).  At this level of aggregation, these groups are broadly comparable to SIC 2003 groups A-F, G-H, I-K and L-Q that were in use until recently.

The second graph shows a further breakdown of the trends in the manufacturing, construction and other production industry sector.

The data source for the first two graphs is ONS Economic and labour market review publications and the data is a count of jobs rather than a count of people.  The data is for the first quarter of each year.

The third graph shows the number of jobs split by gender and full-/part-time, with the data shown separately for the latest year and for a decade previously.  In addition, data for 2008 (the year before the recession and they year in which the number of jobs was highest) is also shown.

The fourth graph shows, for the latest year, the proportion of jobs that are in each of the four sectors for each of full-time male employees, full-time female employees and part-time employees (both sexes combined).

The fifth graph shows, for the latest year, how the total number of jobs in each sector is divided between full-time male jobs, full-time female jobs and part-time jobs (both sexes combined).

The ONS Economic and labour market review publications do not provide data by gender.  In this context, the source for the data on employees in the third to fifth graphs is the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the data is for the month of March each year.  For self-employment, the source is the Labour Force Survey and the data is for each calendar year.

The sixth graph shows, for the latest year, what proportion of jobs in each occupation group are carried out by women.  Note that the major occupations under the title ‘personal service’ are related to healthcare and childcare services.  Those under ‘elementary’ relate to routine occupations.

Neither the ONS Economic and labour market review publications nor the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment provide data by occupation.  In this context, the data source for the sixth graph (regarding both employees and the self-employed) is the Labour Force Survey.

The seventh graph shows, for each United Kingdom region and each sector, the change in jobs over the last decade.  These changes are shown as a proportion of the total jobs in each region a decade ago.

The eighth graph shows, for each United Kingdom region and each sector, the share of total jobs in the latest year.

The data source for the seventh and eighth graphs is ONS Economic and labour market review publications.    The data is for the first quarter of each year.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The data is from authoritative sources but is subject to substantial revisions from time to time.