Belfast Telegraph

Number of agency workers drops by 11%

Around 50,400 employees reported being agency staff at the beginning of 2019, accounting for 2.6% of all workers in the state sector.

Just over a quarter (26.8%) of agency workers were employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, industry and construction sectors (Taylor Wimpey/PA)
Just over a quarter (26.8%) of agency workers were employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, industry and construction sectors (Taylor Wimpey/PA)

By Cate McCurry, PA

There has been an 11% drop in the number of agency workers in the last 12 months, a report has revealed.

Around 50,400 employees reported being agency staff at the beginning of 2019, accounting for 2.6% of all workers in the state, and down from 3.1% at the beginning of last year.

The proportion of employees who reported not being an agency worker was 97.4%, up from 96.9% a year earlier, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The results also showed that agency workers are more likely to be women.

Of the 50,400 employees who were agency workers in the first three months of the year, 52% (26,200) were women.

Over two in every five agency workers were aged 15-34 years Statistician Jim Dalton

This compares with an overall even split of all employees in the state sector of 50% each for males and females.

The greater share, almost 60%, of the fall of 6,200 in the number of agency workers was accounted for by men.

The number of employees who reported as being an agency worker was 50,400 a decrease of 6,200 (11.0%) from the beginning of last year.

Just over a quarter (26.8%) of agency workers were employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, industry and construction sectors – up from 21.2% in 2018.

The human health and social work activities sector accounted for 17.9% of agency workers, while all other economic sectors combined accounted for more than half of all agency workers.

CSO statistician Jim Dalton said: “This report presents results of an analysis of employees who self-reported as being in the paid employment of an employment agency in Q1 (first quarter) 2019 and are thus referred to as agency workers.

“Key findings show that there were 50,400 agency workers in the first quarter of 2019 and these accounted for 2.6% of all employees in the state.

“Over two in every five agency workers were aged 15-34 years.

“Geographically, a similar proportion of agency workers live in the southern (41.1%) or eastern and midland (44.0%) regions.

“Almost two in every five agency workers reported that they work 40 hours or more per week (38.5%), while just over seven in 10 (72.0%) reported themselves as being in full-time employment.

“Agency workers (38.5%) were over two times more likely than all employees (18.3%) to report their duration of employment as being under one year.

“Agency workers (28.0%) were also over three times more likely to report themselves as being in temporary employment compared to all employees (9.0%).”

PA

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