4.1 This section reports the available data on economic activity, employment rates, pay gaps and employment patterns, by different religious groups.
4.2 Figure 3 shows that in 2001 the economic activity rates in Scotland varied by religion - with the Church of Scotland and those with no religion experiencing a higher rate of economic activity and of employment than the other religious groups.
Figure 3: Economic activity rate by current religion, 2001 (Source: High-level summary of equality statistics, 2006)
4.3 There are gender differences in economic activity levels between people based on religious affiliation. As Figure 4 shows, around two-thirds of Muslim men (67%) are economically active compared with 35% of Muslim women. There are also relatively low rates of economic activity for Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh women.
Figure 4: Economic activity rate by gender and current religion, 2001
(Source: Analysis of religion in the 2001 census, 2005)
4.4 Figure 5 shows that there are large variations by religion in relation to people that are unemployed or have never worked. For some religions, part of these variations may be explained by the differences in economic activity rate by gender.
Figure 5: Unemployed and never worked by current religion, 2001
(Source: High-level summary of equality statistics, 2006)
Notes: The age band '16 to Pensionable Age' refers to females aged between 16 and 59 years and males aged between 16 and 64 years. This is based on the state pension age in 2001 when the Census data were collected.
4.5 Figure 6 provides data over time in relation to religion and employment rates. For the majority of religious groups for which data are available, the employment rate dropped from 2007 to 2010. However, for Buddhists and Hindus, employment rates increased over the two years to 2010 when their rates were higher than in 2007. Since 2004 the employment rates of Muslims has been consistently lower than the overall Scottish employment rate. The data for 2011 show small reductions in the employment rates for Christians, Buddhists and Others, with increases for Muslims; see the Note to the graph regarding the rise for No Religion. Due to the small sample sizes, it is not possible to display the trends for either the Jewish or Sikh groups separately: these groups have therefore been included in the "Other" group.
Figure 6: Employment rates (16-64) by religion, Scotland, 2004-2011 (Source: Annual Population Survey, 2011)
Note: There is a discontinuity in the series from 2011: Changes were made to the religion questions in January 2011 to bring them in line with the census data collection on these topics. A change in the ordering of the categories appears to have increased the levels of the "No religion" category.
Religious pay gap
4.6 Metcalf (2009) concludes that there is a detrimental religious pay gap for Muslim men and a beneficial religious pay gap for Jewish people, and observes that earlier research identified large detrimental pay gaps for Sikhs (page 56). However, whether there are gaps between other religions is unclear, as is the extent to which these gaps are indicative of a pay penalty related to religion. The author warns that the cited research into causes of religion or belief pay gaps uses data from 1994, and it is unclear whether these causes still hold.
4.7 Table 2 is a simplification provided by Metcalf, of pay gaps estimated by Longhi and Platt (2008). Longhi and Platt find that, compared to Christian men, only Jewish men and women and Hindu men earn higher hourly pay on average. However it is only for Jewish men that the confidence interval shows a statistically significant difference in average pay. Among those earning less on average than Christian men, only the pay gap of Muslim men is distinctively different when we take account of the 95% confidence intervals. Men who declare no religious affiliation are the most similar to Christian men in terms of average wages. The same applies to the comparison of Christian women, with women declaring no religious affiliation. In terms of the gender pay gap, only Jewish women do not seem to be penalised compared to Christian men. On average, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu women seem to earn more than Christian women, although the gap is statistically significant only for Jewish women. This may reflect differences in qualification levels and work histories, as well as possibly other factors such as differences in caring and domestic responsibilities, though evidence on these ethno-religious differences is limited.
Table 2: Religious pay gap by gender, 2004-07 (Source: Longhi and Platt 2008)
Notes: The comparator is Christian men. A negative value means the group has higher average pay than the Christian men comparator.
4.8 Table 3 outlines the variation by sector for different religious groups. This shows that Muslims and Sikhs are more likely to be employed in "Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repairs" than other religious groups, and Hindus are more likely to be employed in "Health and Social Work" than other religious groups.
Table 3: Industry of Employment by current religion - All People aged 16-74 years in Employment (Source: Analysis of religion in the 2001 census, 2005)
|Church of Scotland||3||..||..||14||..||8||15||5||7||5||10||7||7||13||5||936,681|
|All Religion Groups||2||..||..||13||..||7||14||6||7||5||11||7||7||12||5||2,261,281|
Notes: Row percentages. Any cells representing less than 2% have been marked with "..". They are judged to be insufficiently reliable for publication.
Industry A: Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry
Industry C: Mining and Quarrying
Industry D: Manufacturing
Industry E: Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
Industry F: Construction
Industry G: Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repairs
Industry H: Hotels and Restaurants
Industry I: Transport, Storage and Communication
Industry B: Fishing
Industry J: Financial Intermediaries
Industry K: Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities
Industry L: Public Administration and Defence; Social Security
Industry M: Education
Industry N: Health and Social Work
Industry O,P,Q: Other
4.9 The High Level Summary of Equality Statistics plots employees' religion against the size of the firm they work for (see Figure 7). In 2001, over half of Sikhs (54%) and Muslims (53%) worked in organisations with 9 people or less (micro-businesses). 44% of both Jewish and Buddhist adults worked in micro-businesses compared with 30% of adults in the Church of Scotland religion group and 24% of adults in the Roman Catholic religion group. 68% of Sikh adults and 65% of Muslim adults worked for 'small' businesses. This compares to 47% of adults in the Church of Scotland religion group and 41% of adults in the Roman Catholic religion group who worked for 'small' businesses.
Figure 7: Employees' religion and size of firm. (Source: High Level Summary of Equality Statistics, 2006)
4.10 Regarding self-employment, in 2001, the proportion of all people in employment who were self-employed was highest for the following religious groups: Sikhs (33%), Muslims (29%) and Jewish (27%) (ibid, see Figure 8). By comparison, self-employment rates were substantially lower for the following religion groups; Other Christian (13%), Another Religion (12%) and Roman Catholic which had the lowest self-employment rate at 8%.
Figure 8: Self-employment and religion. (Source: High Level Summary of Equality Statistics, 2006)
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