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Statistical bulletin: Regional Labour Market, February 2015 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 18 February 2015 Download PDF

Key Points

  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the South East (76.5%) and lowest in Wales (69.2%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (8.0%) and lowest in the South West (4.5%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.7%) and lowest in the East of England (19.5%).
  • The headline Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.1%) and lowest in the South East and South West (1.4%).

In this bulletin:

This bulletin shows the latest key labour market statistics for the regions and countries of Great Britain, along with statistics for local authorities, travel-to-work areas and parliamentary constituencies.
Data for Northern Ireland are available separately.

Updated this month
Labour Force Survey estimates for the period October 2014 to December 2014.
Claimant Count for January 2015.
 
Also in this release
Workforce Jobs estimates for September 2014.
Public and private sector employment for September 2014.
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period October 2013 to September 2014.

Overview of regional labour market published 18 February 2015

The employment rate estimates for those aged 16 to 64, for the three months to December 2014, compared to the three months to September 2014, mostly showed increases for the regions and countries of the UK.

The largest increases in the employment rate estimates were for the West Midlands, at 1.4 percentage points and the North East, at 1.1 percentage points. For both regions the employment rate estimate for three months ago was low, compared with other recent estimates, with the general pattern showing much gentler growth than suggested by the latest estimates.

The largest decrease in the employment rate estimate was for Northern Ireland, at 0.7 percentage points, followed by London, at 0.5 percentage points.

For most regions the general picture has been for employment rates to be increasing or close to flat, with all but one region having employment rates the same or higher than a year ago. The exception is Wales, which has been falling from record highs since late 2013, with the latest estimate 1.5 percentage points lower than a year ago.

Employment rates remain higher in the South East at 76.5%, East of England at 76.3% and South West at 75.9% than the rest of the UK.

The employment levels for the North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands and Scotland are all at record highs, with many other regions close to record highs. The employment rate for the North East, at 70.0%, is also at a record high.

Regional estimates for the unemployment rate are quite volatile, which needs to be allowed for when considering the pattern of change over time.

There were no large increases in the unemployment rate estimates for the three months to December 2014, compared to the three months to September 2014.

The largest decreases in the unemployment rate estimates for the three months to December 2014, compared to the three months to September 2014, were for the North East and West Midlands, at 1.2 percentage points, Yorkshire and The Humber, at 1.0 percentage point and the East Midlands, at 0.8 percentage points. For all of these regions, this decrease follows a slowing in the rate of decrease three months ago. This suggests a more consistent decrease at a steadier rate.

All regions are showing decreases in the unemployment rate compared with a year ago.

The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK, at 8.0%, followed by Wales, at 6.7%.

The Claimant Count for January 2015 compared with December 2014 is showing decreases in the count for both men and women across all regions of the UK.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 73.2%, for the period October to December 2014.

The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the South East, at 76.5%, followed by the East of England, at 76.3% and the South West, at 75.9%. The regions with the lowest rate were Wales, at 69.2%, followed by the North East, at 70.0%, and the North West, at 70.9%.

The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (July 2014 to September 2014), were the West Midlands, with an increase of 1.4 percentage points, followed by the North East, with an increase of 1.1 percentage points and Scotland, with an increase of 0.6 percentage points. London had the largest decrease in the employment rate, with a decrease of 0.5 percentage points, followed by the South West, with a decrease of 0.4 percentage points and the East of England, with a decrease of 0.2 percentage points. The UK employment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points.

Figure 1: Employment Rates, October 2014 to December 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 1: Employment Rates, October 2014 to December 2014, Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Over the year, the regions with the largest increase in the employment rate were the North East, with an increase of 2.5 percentage points, followed by the North West, with an increase of 2.2 percentage points and the East Midlands and the West Midlands, both with an increase of 2.1 percentage points. The only decrease in the employment rate was in Wales, at 1.5 percentage points. The East of England had the smallest increase of 0.8 percentage points, while the South East remained unchanged.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 5.7%, for the period October to December 2014.

The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the North East, at 8.0%, followed by Wales, at 6.7% and the North West, at 6.5%. The regions with the lowest rate were the South West, at 4.5%, followed by the South East, at 4.6% and the East Midlands, at 4.9%.

The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (July 2014 to September 2014), were the West Midlands and the North East, both at 1.2 percentage points, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber, at 1.0 percentage point and the East Midlands, at 0.8 percentage points. There were four regions with an increase in the unemployment rate: London and the North West, both at 0.2 percentage points, and Wales and the East of England, both at 0.1 percentage point. The unemployment rate in the South East remained unchanged. The UK rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points.

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, October 2014 to December 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, October 2014 to December 2014, Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Over the year, all regions showed a decrease in the unemployment rate. The largest decreases were in Yorkshire and The Humber, at 2.4 percentage points, the West Midlands, at 2.2 percentage points and the East Midlands, at 2.0 percentage points. The smallest decrease in the unemployment rate was in Wales, at 0.3 percentage points.

An interactive chart showing regional unemployment rates over time is available.

Workforce Jobs (first published on 17 December 2014)

Workforce Jobs increased in 6 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between June 2014 and September 2014. The largest increase of 39,000 was in the South East, followed by the North West, which increased by 34,000. London was unchanged, remaining at 5.579 million. The largest decrease of 13,000 was in the South West, followed by the North East, which decreased by 7,000.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector, at 13.8% whilst London had the lowest proportion, at 2.9%. For the service sector, London had the highest proportion, at 92.1% whilst Wales had the lowest proportion, at 78.0%.

Figure 3: Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, September 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 3: Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, September 2014, Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Jobseeker's Allowance

The seasonally adjusted headline Claimant Count rate for the UK was 2.5% in January 2015, down 0.1 percentage point from December 2014, with the level down 38,600.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East, at 4.1%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber, at 3.4%, Wales, at 3.3% and the West Midlands, at 3.1%.

The regions with the lowest rate were the South East and the South West, both at 1.4%. The next lowest rates were seen in the East of England, at 1.7% and London, at 2.3%.

Figure 4: Claimant Count Rates, January 2015, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 4: Claimant Count Rates, January 2015, Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

For the period October 2013 to September 2014, the local authorities with the highest employment rate in Great Britain, were Oadby and Wigston, at 85.9%, Huntingdonshire, at 85.6% and Dartford, at 85.5%. Pendle in Lancashire, at 56.9%, was the only local authority with a rate lower than 60%.

For the period October 2013 to September 2014, the local authority with the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain, was Middlesbrough, at 12.3%, followed by Liverpool and Hartlepool, both at 12.2% and Kingston upon Hull, at 12.1%. There were 6 local authorities with a rate of less than 3%: Eden in Cumbria, Hart in Hampshire, Mid Sussex and Mole Valley, all at 2.9%, Stratford on Avon, at 2.6% and South Northamptonshire, at 2.5%.

In December 2014, the local authorities with the lowest proportion of the population, aged from 16 to 64 years, claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Great Britain, were Harrogate, Richmondshire, Harborough and 10 other local authorities, all at 0.5%, followed by 18 local authorities, all at 0.6% and a further 23 local authorities, all at 0.7%. These were followed by a further 63 local authorities, with a proportion of 1.0% or less. The proportion was highest in Kingston upon Hull, at 4.9%, followed by Middlesbrough, at 4.6% and Wolverhampton, South Tyneside and Birmingham, all at 4.4%. There were a further 5 local authorities in Great Britain, all with a proportion of 4.0% or more.

Figure 5: Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count rates varied between 9 local authorities at 0.5% and Kingston upon Hull at 5.0%
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

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An interactive version of this map showing Claimant Count proportions by local authority over time is available. This map also shows Claimant Count proportions for males, females, 18 to 24 year olds and those claiming for over 12 months.

The job density of an area is the number of jobs per head, of resident population, aged 16 to 64. In 2012, the highest jobs density in Great Britain was the City of London, at 77.46 and the lowest was East Renfrewshire, at 0.38. Westminster (4.25), Camden (2.11) and Tower Hamlets, Islington and Kensington and Chelsea (all 1.30), all in London, were the next highest jobs densities. The highest jobs density outside London was Watford at 1.25. After East Renfrewshire, the lowest jobs densities were Lewisham (0.39) and Waltham Forest and East Dunbartonshire, both at 0.43, followed by Newham and Haringey, both at 0.44.

Index of Tables

LFS headline indicators (Employment, unemployment and inactivity):

Headline Indicators for All Regions (HI00) (7.43 Mb Excel sheet)

LFS headline indicators (Employment, unemployment and inactivity); Employment and Workforce Jobs estimates; Claimant Count; and Economic Activity and Inactivity estimates for each region are available in the following tables:


Headline Indicators for North East (HI01) (2.26 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (2.03 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.44 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.61 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.42 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.4 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (2.04 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (2.02 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (2.01 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.25 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (HI11) (2.43 Mb Excel sheet)

The following tables contain local labour market indicators for all regions:


Local Indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (LI01) (246 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (LI02) (311 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (LI02.1) (114 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Travel-to-Work Areas (LI03) (175.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for NUTS3 areas (LI04) (176.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LI05) (100.5 Kb Excel sheet)

The following tables contain local Claimant Count data for all regions:


Claimant Count by Unitary and Local Authority (JSA01) (256 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Parliamentary Constituency (JSA02) (623.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (JSA02.1) (123 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Local Enterprise Partnership (JSA03) (101.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Other tables:


Summary of Headline Indicators (S01) (73 Kb Excel sheet)

Sampling Variability and Revisions Summary (S02) (61 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count Denominators (S03) (69 Kb Excel sheet)

Model Based Estimates of Unemployment (M01) (2.28 Mb Excel sheet)

Estimates of Employment by Age (Experimental Statistics) (X01) (6.86 Mb Excel sheet)

Estimates of Unemployment by Age (Experimental Statistics) (X02) (6.81 Mb Excel sheet)

Estimates of Inactivity by Age (Experimental Statistics) (X03) (6.84 Mb Excel sheet)

Regional public and private sector employment (RPUB1) (144.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month’s Bulletin
    There are no changes to this month’s bulletin.

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin
    Revisions to Annual Population Survey estimates planned
    ONS currently plans to revise estimates derived from the Annual Population Survey (including estimates of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity), in the March 2015 edition of this Statistical Bulletin, as a result of taking on board population estimates based on the 2011 Census. Estimates will be revised back to January to December 2004. These revisions are in line with similar revisions to Labour Force Survey estimates published in the October 2014 UK Labour Market and Regional Labour Market Statistical Bulletins.

  3. Introduction of Universal Credit
    On 29 April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started a Pathfinder for Universal Credit which created the first jobseeker Universal Credit claimants. This has been extended to further Jobcentre Plus Offices (JCP) across Great Britain. Further information for dates of roll out to Universal Credit can be found in the List of Jobcentre Plus Offices under Universal Credit. (90.6 Kb Pdf)

    Universal Credit will replace a number of means-tested benefits including income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). It will not replace contributory-based JSA.

    The Claimant Count measures the number of people claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed. Since October 1996, it has been a count of the number of people claiming JSA. Following a consultation in 2012 by ONS, it was agreed that, with the introduction of Universal Credit, the Claimant Count would include:

    • people claiming contribution-based JSA (which is not affected by the introduction of Universal Credit)

    • people claiming income-based JSA during the transition period while this benefit is being gradually phased out, and

    • people claiming Universal Credit who are not earning and who are subject to a full set of labour market jobseeker requirements, that is, required to be actively seeking work and available to start work.

    Since July 2014, ONS has published an indicative adjusted Claimant Count including experimental estimates of claimants of Universal Credit as well as JSA claimants at data table CLA03 (70.5 Kb Excel sheet) . From January 2015, these statistics are also published in Table 10(1) of the UK Labour Market Statistical Bulletin. A version of this table for the North West is included in this release as part of data table HI02 (2.03 Mb Excel sheet) . Numbers of claimants of Universal Credit for more detailed geographies are available from the DWP Universal Credit - monthly experimental official statistics.

    ONS will include jobseeker Universal Credit claims in the Claimant Count statistics as soon as possible.

  4. Publication Policy
    A list of the job titles of those given pre-publication access to the contents of this Statistical Bulletin is available on the ONS website.

  5. Quality Issues
    One indication of the reliability of the key indicators in this bulletin can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions. These summary measures are available in the Regional Labour Market Sampling Variability spreadsheet (61 Kb Excel sheet) available with this bulletin and show the size of revisions over the last five years. The revised data itself may be subject to sampling or other sources of error. The ONS standard presentation is to show five years worth of revisions (that is, 60 observations for a monthly series, 20 for a quarterly series).

    Further information on the Quality of and Methods for Workforce Jobs estimates can be found in the Summary Quality Report. (295.4 Kb Pdf)

  6. Other Quality information
    Quality and Methodology Information papers for labour market statistics are available on the ONS website. Further information about the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is available from:

  7. Definitions and Concepts
    An article explaining how unemployment and the Claimant Count (141 Kb Pdf) series are defined and measured and the difference between the two series is available, along with an article to help users interpret labour market statistics and highlight some common misunderstandings. A more detailed Guide to Labour Market Statistics is also available.

  8. Sampling Variability
    Very few statistical revisions arise as a result of ‘errors’ in the popular sense of the word. All estimates, by definition, are subject to statistical ‘error’ but in this context the word refers to the uncertainty.

    Some data in the bulletin are based on statistical samples and, as such, are subject to sampling variability. If many samples were drawn, each would give different results. The ranges shown in the Regional Labour Market Sampling Variability spreadsheet (61 Kb Excel sheet) , available with this bulletin, represent ‘95% confidence intervals’. It is expected that in 95% of samples the range would contain the true value.

  9. Special Events
    ONS has published commentary, analysis and policy on 'Special Events' which may affect statistical outputs. For full details go to the Special Events page on the ONS website.

  10. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Bob Watson +44 (0)1633 455070 Regional and local data/Claimant Count bob.watson@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Nicholas Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 Regional and national Labour Force Survey nicholas.palmer@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Mark Williams +44 (0)1633 456728 Workforce Jobs mark.williams@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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