The latest fair employment report for Northern Ireland shows an increase in workers from a Catholic background.
In 2018, the workforce monitored by the Equality Commission (about 70% of Northern Ireland’s total working population) was 563,229, an increase of 22,332.
Of those giving their community background as Protestant or Catholic, the breakdown was 50.7% Protestant and 49.3% Catholic, an increase of 0.4%.
Catholics represented 52.7% of job applicants in 2018 with Protestants at 47.3%.
Of these, the successful candidates were 53.3% Catholic and 46.7% Protestant.
Those who did not give their background as Catholic or Protestant were classified as non-determined with the total at 10.9%, up from 1.7% the previous year.
Women accounted for 51.8% of the monitored workforce, the same share over the last three years.
This equated to 42.2% in the private sector and 65.8% in the public sector.
The Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission, Dr Michael Wardlow, said the monitoring process remained important to help employers address any imbalances in their workforce.
He added that Northern Ireland “is a very different place” since monitoring was introduced 30 years ago, with many people coming from other countries to work and raise families.
“The Commission believes the time is right for the fair employment monitoring regulations to change to reflect these realities,” he said.
“We have recommended, for instance, the extension of monitoring requirements to include nationality and ethnic origin to ensure the continuing usefulness of the fair employment monitoring regulations and to enable employers to make a more accurate and meaningful assessment of fair participation in their organisation.”