Published Tuesday, 18 December 2012
The majority share of NI's workforce is Protestant. (© Pacemaker)
The Equality Commission, who reviewed returns for last year from nearly 4,000 employers, published the findings.
The 22nd Fair Employment Monitoring Report found a 6% decrease in the total number of monitored employees, a reduction of 2,884 workers.
The monitored workforce in 2011 stands at 509,842.
Commenting on the report Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said: "This year's returns show that the composition of the monitored workforce is broadly in line with the community shares of those available for work.
"There has been a continuation of the consistent and gradual change, year on year, which has seen the Catholic share of the monitored workforce rise by six percentage points over the last decade. The Catholic composition of the monitored workforce reflects the latest estimates from LFS surveys of Catholics of working age."
The report showed for the third consecutive year there were more Catholics applying for jobs, making up 51.6% of applicants last year and 28.4% of applicants from the Protestant community.
In terms of gender, the workforce in the region is 52.7% female and 47.3% male, proportionally unchanged from 2010.
The private sector accounts for 63.5% of the total workforce, and this year, with an increase of 622 employees, saw its first period of growth since 2008.
The community proportions of employees in the private sector was 54% Protestant and 46% Roman Catholic.
The public sector workforce - 36.5% of the total monitored workforce, is 53.2% Protestant and 46.8% Roman Catholic.
Nearly two thirds- 64.1%- of the public sector workforce is female. The female proportion of the public sector part-time workforce is even larger at 76.9%.