NERI Seminar Dublin: A time-series analysis of precarious work in the elementary professions in Ireland

27 September 2017, 3:50pm - 5:30pm

Topic: A time-series analysis of precarious work in the elementary professions in Ireland 

Speaker: Ciarán Nugent, Research Assistant, NERI

Date: 27th September, 2017

Time: Tea and coffee from 15:50. The seminar will commence at 16:00

Venue: INTO Learning Centre, 38 Parnell Square, Dublin 1


Across the EU, permanent full-time jobs are declining as a proportion of the labour force and real wages are falling in many sectors.  The International Standard Classification of Occupations groups workers by skill level and education with professionals at the highest skill level and elementary workers at the lowest. Considering both the income and employment contract aspects of precariousness this paper examines trends in Ireland from 2004 to 2015 in the elementary occupations.  While the overall structure of the labour market, specifically the proportion of temporary contracts has hardly changed since 2004 the proportion of those temporary workers who are involuntarily in these positions has grown considerably.  Furthermore, the proportion of part-time workers has grown as a proportion of the overall labour market as has the share of workers within that category who would prefer to be in full-time employment.  For the most part, these trends hold across groups identified as particularly vulnerable to precariousness in the international literature; women, young people and foreign nationals.  Temporary contracts as a proportion of employment for those under 30 for instance has grown markedly whilst it has actually fallen slightly for older cohorts. The incidence of involuntary part-time and involuntary temporary work is higher in all categories for elementary workers. In terms of income insecurity, the deprivation rate for elementary workers rose significantly between 2004 and 2015 (from 13% to 23%) and almost 80% of elementary workers in 2015 had some difficulty in making ends meet as did a similar proportion of temporary workers.

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