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Regional Profiles: Economy - North West, May 2012

Released: 30 May 2012 Download PDF

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Correction Notice

Region and Country Profiles – Economy May 2012

A production error was discovered in the reference table download, originally published on 30 May 2012. This also affects the Regional Profiles (Summaries) for the North West and the South West

Within the table 'Subregional - business births and deaths', birth and death rates were calculated incorrectly. These figures were also included in the Regional Profiles for the North West and the South West.

This error has now been corrected.

ONS apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Productivity levels within the North West region, 2009

Highest and lowest NUTS3 areas

Three highest and three lowest levels of labour productivity in the North West
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. GVA per hour worked is shown relative to the UK average, UK=100
  2. NUTS3 areas are local authorities or groups of local authorities

Download chart data

The North West, of all the English regions and countries of the UK, is the third largest in terms of its contribution to the UK economy. Productivity is among the lowest of the English regions, although Cheshire has a productivity level above the UK average.

The North West generated almost 10 per cent of the UK’s gross value added (GVA).

Productivity, as measured by GVA per hour worked, was 88 per cent of the UK rate in 2010. Within the region, productivity ranged from 65 per cent of the UK rate in Blackpool to 102 per cent in Cheshire in 2009.

The region’s headline GVA was £120.5 billion in 2010. The latest subregional data show that almost 40 per cent of the region’s economic output was generated in Greater Manchester (£45.7 billion in 2009).

The North West made the highest contribution to the UK’s manufacturing industry GVA, 13 per cent of the total in 2009. GVA by industry in the UK interactive map allows users to see how other industries contribute to the GVA of the area.

In 2010 gross disposable household income (GDHI) of North West residents was one of the lowest, at £14,200 per head. It ranged from £11,350 in Blackburn with Darwen to £17,190 in Cheshire East, which were 72.1 and 109.3 per cent of the UK rate respectively.

The gap by which business deaths exceeded business births in 2010 was greatest in the North West of England (14 and 10 per cent respectively of active enterprises). Within the region, Blackpool unitary authority (UA) had the largest gap between business deaths (17 per cent) and business births (9 per cent). The smallest gap was in Warrington UA, 13 per cent of business deaths and 11 per cent of business births.

The employment rate for the region’s residents, 68.7 per cent in Q4 2011, was below the UK average of 70.3 per cent. The unemployment rate was 9.3 per cent, above the UK average of 8.4 per cent. In the year ending September 2011 the employment rates within the region ranged from 58.3 per cent in Manchester to 79.7 in Fylde. Investigate how unemployment rates have changed over time at regional level .

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes:

    The data section of this release provides more economic data.

    Gross value added (GVA) is a key measure of economic performance. The data are consistent with the headline workplace based series, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work.

    Labour productivity webpage provides access to the latest releases. The Productivity handbook looks at measuring productivity at a regional level. The Subregional productivity March 2012 article provides analysis at a subregional level.

    GVA per head interactive map shows how GVA varies relative to the population of an area. GVA per head is not a measure of productivity.

    Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC2007) defines the industries.

    Gross disposable household income (GDHI) covers the income received by households and non profit-making institutions serving households and is net of tax payments.

    Business Demography 2010 includes definitions of active enterprises, births and deaths. Further releases for businesses by region are available.

    Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity rates are seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) headline indicators. Regional employment and economic inactivity rates are data for all people aged 16 to 64. Subregional data are from the Annual Population Survey (APS), October 2010-September 2011.

    Labour market indicators are defined in the Glossary.

    Local Labour Market webpage provides access to the latest releases for employment, unemployment, inactivity, claimant count and other labour market data.

    Model-Based Estimates of ILO Unemployment for LAD/UAs cover all people aged 16 or over.

  2. Source:

    All data are published by ONS.

  3. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit the National Archives website or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:

  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Trends, No. 43 - Portrait of the North West, 2011 Edition (Pdf 1392Kb) - The Portrait of the North West presents a wide range of data giving an overview of what it is like to live or work in the North West. The article provides a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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