Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Religous differential in employment remains - Mitchel Mc Laughlin

23 June, 2005

Commenting on the latest Labour Force Statistics Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Mitchel Mc Laughlin MLA said:

"One fact stands out amongst the mass of statistics provided by the Statistics and Research Agency's analysis of the religious breakdown of the labour force and that is Catholics continue, almost four decades after the civil rights campaign of the 1960's to be 1.5 times more likely to be unemployed than Protestants.

"However, buried within these damning figures another pattern is apparent, the proportion of Protestants in employment is 72.9% as compared to a rate of 62.9% for Catholics. This highlights, without any need to reference the relative religious proportions in the labour force, the 10% difference that exists in employment rates between Catholics and Protestants.

"Mention by NISRA of a reduction in the unemployment gap is disingenuous given that a rate of 4.8% for Protestants is equivalent almost to full employment while in the same circumstances Catholics face a rate of 7.2%.

"This enduring and persistent religious differential cannot be explained away by anything but the failure to properly apply of decades of anti-discrimination legislation and puts paid to the bogus claims by some that religious discrimination has ceased to exist."

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