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Patterns and Trends in Standard and Non-standard employment in Northern Ireland

Patterns and Trends in Standard and Non-standard employment in Northern Ireland

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Author

Lisa Wilson

Summary

Despite international evidence of a marked shift in the structure of employment away from standard employment arrangements toward non-standard employment arrangements remarkably little is known about the composition of employment in the Northern Ireland labour market. In this respect, what we do not know is if – and to what degree – employment in Northern Ireland is becoming more insecure in nature.


This paper aims to examine trends and patterns in employment arrangement types and working hours in Northern Ireland since 2008 until 2016 using data from the Northern Ireland element of the United Kingdom Quarterly Labour Force Survey. From here the paper moves to examine the reasons why people work in non-standard employment, with particular attention paid to those who are involuntarily employed in part-time or temporary positions. Finally, the paper turns to look at the composition of workers in different employment arrangements, as well as the likelihood of workers with different characteristics of being in various employment arrangements including full-time permanent, part-time permanent, temporary full-time, temporary part-time, self-employed full-time and self-employed part-time work. Overall, the paper provides greater clarity on the changing structure of the labour market in Northern Ireland, and who is most affected by the changes.

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