Jobs inequality for Catholics unchanged
Catholics are still twice as likely to be unemployed as
Protestants in the North, with Catholic women battling even
According to the most recent figures from the official British
government Labour Force Survey, Catholic women are
three-and-a-half times more likely to be unemployed than
Protestant women in the North.
The figures demonstrate that, for Catholic women in particular,
sectarian employment discrimination is alive and well in the Six
Successive fair-employment laws introduced in 1976, 1989, 1991
and 1998 appear to have had no impact on inequality in the
Throughout that entire period, the unemployment differential has
remained virtually static, with Catholics consistently at least
twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants.
In recent years, British government-sponsored researchers have
claimed that social factors other than discrimination are
responsible for the disparity in the unemployment differential.
However, no evidence has been produced to back this claim.
The latest figures come just days after the official 2005
statistics on depirvation and poverty in the North were
According to the statistics, the predominantly nationalist
parliamentary constituencies of Belfast West, Foyle and West
Tyrone are among the four areas of the North with the highest
proportion of deprived citizens.
The strongly unionist constituencies of Lagan Valley, North
Down, South Antrim and Strangford have the lowest proportions of
people living in deprived conditions.
A conference on equality being held tomorrow in Belfast will be
addressed by one of North America's most powerful elected
politicians, Alan Hevesi.
Mr Hevesi is the financial comptroller for New York state. His
office administers the second largest pension fund in United
Despite bitter opposition from the British government, Mr Hevesi
has remained a determined campaigner for fair-employment
initiatives in the North, such as the MacBride principles,
throughout his political career.
At a press conference tomorrow morning, Mr Hevesi is expected to
make a major investment announcement.