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Report says Northern Ireland Catholics getting fairer share of jobs
    Catholics in Northern Ireland are getting a fairer share of jobs, a report claims.
    The proportion of Catholics in the workforce has risen 4.7% to 39.6% during the 1990s, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
    However, Catholics are still more likely than Protestants to be unemployed, although the gap has narrowed from 14.4% to just 3.8%. All public sector concerns and private firms with 26 or more employees were monitored.
    The change was most marked in the private sector where Catholic representation increased by 5.3% between 1990 and 1999, whereas in the public sector their share rose by 3%.
    Perhaps the greatest change for both sections of society is the change in unemployment over the last 20 years. In 1981 25.5% of Catholics and 11.4% of Protestants were unemployed - a difference of 14.1%. By 1999 the difference had dropped to just 3.8%, with Catholic unemployment standing at 8.8% and Protestant at 5.0%. Between the start of the 1970s and the end of the 1990s the number of Catholics in the "economically active population" increased from 31.2% to 42.4%.
    The figures were contained in a new Source Book detailing labour force characteristics in the Protestant and Catholic communities, produced by the Statistics and Research Agency.