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Regional Profile of South East - Economy, June 2013

Released: 19 June 2013 Download PDF

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Employment rate in the South East and UK, Q4 2007 and Q4 2012

South East

South East had the highest employment rate in Q4 2012 but down 2 percentage points from Q4 2007
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics


  1. Seasonally adjusted data for people aged 16-64

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The South East had the highest employment rate in Q4 2012 and is second to London in terms of GVA, GDHI and labour productivity.

The South East’s employment rate in Q4 2012 was the highest of all English regions at 75.0% but still 2.2% percentage points below the figure for Q4 2007. The latest subregional data for the year ending December 2012 show that the employment rate ranged from 63.3% in Tonbridge and Malling in Kent to 85.0% in South Bucks in Buckinghamshire.

The South East is responsible for nearly 15% of the UK’s gross value added (GVA). The region’s total GVA was £192.2 billion in 2011. Aside from London, the South East is the only English region that increased its share of UK GVA between 2006 and 2011. A third of the region’s economic output is generated in the counties and unitary authorities of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Gross disposable household income (GDHI) of South East residents was the second highest, after London, at £18,100 per head and was 12.8% above the UK average. There was a wide range within the region, with GDHI lowest in Portsmouth at £12,290 per head, compared with £22,070 per head in Surrey.

Productivity, as measured by GVA per hour worked, was 7% above the UK average in 2011. Within the region, the lowest productivity in 2011 was in East Sussex CC (10% below the UK rate) and the highest productivity was in Berkshire (28% above the UK rate).

The South East generated the second largest contribution to the UK’s GVA for the information and communication sector at 23% in 2010.

The unemployment rate increased from 4.4% in Q4 2007 to 6.5% in Q4 2012. In all of the English regions except the South East recent data show a downward trend after Q4 2011; in the South East the unemployment rate has changed little since Q4 2009.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

    The data section of this release (939 Kb Excel sheet)  provides more Economy data. All data are published by ONS.

    Gross disposable household income (GDHI) covers the income received by households and non profit-making institutions serving households and is net of tax payments. The data are unsmoothed.
    Use the GDHI per head interactive map to see how it has changed over time at regional level.

    Gross value added (GVA) is a key measure of economic performance. The data used here are consistent with the workplace based series, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work, but are unsmoothed data for individual years.
    GVA interactive charts and maps allow users to select different regions and industries and see their relative significance over the period from 1997 to the latest available year.

    Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC2007) defines the industries.

    Labour Market
    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.
    Regional unemployment rates are data for all people aged 16 and over.
    Subregional employment data are from the Annual Population Survey (APS).
    Subregional unemployment data are from the Model-Based Estimates of ILO Unemployment for LAD/UAs, which uses APS and other data sources to calculate annual data every quarter.
    Regional labour market statistics provides access to the latest key labour market figures.
    Nomis provides access to the most detailed and up-to-date UK labour market statistics from official sources.
    Labour market indicators are defined in the Glossary.
    Interpreting labour market statistics.
    Investigate how unemployment rates have changed over time at regional level.

    The Productivity handbook looks at measuring productivity at a regional level.
    Labour productivity provides access to the latest regional data.
    The Subregional productivity April 2013 article provides data at a subregional level.

  2. Further analysis:

    170 Years of Industrial change across England and Wales - 2011 Census statistics provide a rich source of information about the number, distribution and characteristics of the population in England and Wales. 2011 Census Analysis products present specific analyses on a variety of topics, including ethnicity, families, health, labour market, language, migration, and national identity, and religion. In particular, many of the analyses focus on geographical variations, changes over time, and how the census differs to other data sources.

    Regional Economic Indicators, March 2013 article discusses a selection of economic indicators in order to gain an overview of the economic performance of UK regions and countries. In this release a particular focus has been applied to how the regions/countries have fared through the economic downturn that began in 2008.

    The Spatial Distribution of Industries article investigates the patterns of spatial concentration of industries across Great Britain. Data tools and maps are provided for users to explore the data.

    Characteristics of Individual Insolvencies including Bankruptcies, England and Wales, 2011 article explores individual insolvency by region, local authority, age, gender and insolvency type. It is designed to highlight the type of analysis that can be carried out using individual insolvency data and how to use the individual insolvency data visualisation tool. Data on individual insolvency is published by the Insolvency Service.

    The Supply Side of Tourism - The Geography of Tourism Employment report details various aspects of the supply side of tourism. It includes a national level analysis of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment in the defined set of tourism industries. It also includes an estimate of employment in tourism industries for the regions and nations of the UK. The set of tourism industries used is based on international recommendations.

  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 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 South East, 2011 Edition (Pdf 2327Kb) - This portrait provides a wide range of data giving an overview of what it is like to live or work in the South East. The article presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the south east corner of England. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities in the South East which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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