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 December 2012 to February 2013.
Claimant Count for March 2013.
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period January 2012 to December 2012.
Workforce Jobs estimates for December 2012.
The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to February 2013 compared to the three months to November 2012, showed very few large changes.
The largest increase was for Scotland which increased by 1.0 percentage point. Although this increase is quite large it is partially a result of some unusually low employment rate estimates during the autumn. It is unclear whether this is the start of a pattern of rises, with the general picture for Scotland being relatively flat for the last few years.
Meanwhile the largest decrease was for the North East which decreased by 1.1 percentage points. Again it is unclear whether this is the start of a period of decreases, with the employment rate having generally risen for the North East over the previous year.
Across the country the underlying picture appears to be quite flat for most regions, with only the West Midlands and London having shown any sustained pattern of increase in employment rates.
Employment rates remain higher in the South East and East of England, both at 74.8%, and the South West at 74.5% than the rest of the UK.
The employment level for the East of England is at a record high, although the rate remains below record levels due to increasing population numbers.
Regional figures for the unemployment rate are quite volatile, which needs to be allowed for when considering the pattern of change over time.
The only large change in the unemployment rate for the three months to February 2013 compared to the three months to November 2012 was for the North East, which increased by 1.0 percentage point to 10.1%. As with the decrease in employment rate, it is unclear whether this is the start of a period or increases. The rate for the North East is the highest in the UK.
The two regions that are showing a pattern of growth in the employment rates, that is London and the West Midlands, are both showing a pattern of decrease in their rates of economic inactivity rather than strong falls in unemployment rates. Economic inactivity rates for London and the West Midlands are both at record lows.
The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 71.4% for the period December 2012 to February 2013.
The regions with the highest rate are the South East and East of England both at 74.8%, with the South West at 74.5%. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 67.1%, followed by Wales at 68.9% and the North West at 69.5%.
The region with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (September 2012 to November 2012) was Scotland with an increase of 1.0 percentage point followed by the West Midlands with an increase of 0.5 percentage points. The region with the largest decrease in the employment rate was the North East with a decrease of 1.1 percentage points followed by the East Midlands and Yorkshire and The Humber with decreases of 0.4 and 0.3 percentage points respectively. The UK rate was unchanged.
Over the year the regions with the largest change in the employment rate were London with an increase of 2.5 percentage points, followed by the West Midlands at 2.1 percentage points and the North West at 1.6 percentage points. The only region to show a decrease was East Midlands with a decrease of 0.6 percentage points.
The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 7.9% for the period December 2012 to February 2013.
The region with the highest rate was the North East at 10.1% followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 9.2% and the West Midlands at 9.1%. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 6.2%, followed by the South East at 6.8% and the East of England at 6.9%.
The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (September 2012 to November 2012) were Scotland and the East Midlands both at 0.5 percentage points followed by the North West and Wales which both decreased by 0.2 percentage points. The unemployment rate in the North East increased by 1.0 percentage point followed by the South West with an increase of 0.7 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.2 percentage points.
Over the year the regions with the largest changes in the unemployment rate were the North West with a decrease of 1.2 percentage points, the North East and London with a decrease of 1.1 percentage points and Scotland with a decrease of 0.8 percentage points
An interactive chart showing regional unemployment rates over time is available.
Workforce Jobs increased in seven of the eleven regions of Great Britain between September 2012 and December 2012 with a decrease in other four remaining regions. The largest increase of 27,000 was in London, whilst the largest decrease of 31,000 was in the South East.
The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 13.4% whilst London had the lowest proportion at 2.9%. For the service sector London had the highest proportion at 92.3% whilst Wales had the lowest at proportion at 78.6%.
The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 4.6% in March 2013 unchanged from February, although the level was down 7,000.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.4%, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 6.0% and the West Midlands at 5.7%.
The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 2.8%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 3.0% and the East of England at 3.7%.
For the period January 2012 to December 2012 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was South Norfolk at 86.4%. The next highest was South Bucks in Buckinghamshire at 85.0% and Corby in Northamptonshire at 84.6%. The lowest rates were Birmingham at 57.0%, followed by Middlesbrough at 58.8% and Blaenau Gwent at 59.0%.
For the period January 2012 to December 2012 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Kingston upon Hull at 15.6%. The next highest was Middlesbrough at 15.4% and Blaenau Gwent 14.5%. The lowest rate was in West Dorset and Eden at 3.2% followed by South Lakeland in Cumbria at 3.3%.
In March 2013 the local authorities with the lowest proportion of the population aged from 16 to 64 years claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Great Britain were Hart in Hampshire and Mid Sussex and Isles of Scilly all at 1.1% and Aberdeenshire at 1.2%. This was followed by eleven areas all at 1.3% and a further 54 areas with a proportion of less than 2%. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.8%, followed by Middlesbrough at 8.5%. These were followed by six local authorities that had a proportion of 7.0% or more and a further 14 local authorities with a proportion of 6.0% or more.
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 over 12 months.
In 2011 the highest jobs density in Great Britain was the City of London at 74.76 and the lowest was Lewisham at 0.39. Westminster (4.15), Camden (2.02) and Tower Hamlets (1.32), all in London were the next highest jobs densities. The highest jobs density outside London was Watford at 1.23. After Lewisham, the lowest jobs density was Waltham Forest at 0.40, followed by Haringey, Newham, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire all at 0.41.
This Month’s Bulletin
Estimates of workforce jobs for December 2012 were originally scheduled for publication in last month’s release. The publication of these estimates was postponed until this month’s release due to operational difficulties which resulted in a need for further quality assurance. A number of improvements have been made to the workforce jobs estimates. See Background Notes to the February 2013 edition of this Statistical Bulletin for details of these improvements.
There have been revisions to the seasonally adjusted claimant count estimates back to January 2010 following the latest annual review of the seasonal adjustment process. The denominators used to calculate national and regional claimant count rates have been routinely updated and revised taking on board revisions to Workforce Jobs estimates. Rates from January 2012 are based on mid-2012 denominators.
Next Month’s Bulletin
There are no significant changes planned for next month’s bulletin.
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 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 (i.e. 60 observations for a monthly series, 20 for a quarterly series).
Further information on the Quality of and Methods for Work Force Jobs estimates can be found in Summary Quality Report (295.4 Kb Pdf) .
Other Quality information
Quality and Methodology Information papers for labour market statistics are available on the website. Further information about the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is available from:
• the LFS User Guide, and
• LFS Performance and Quality Monitoring Reports.
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, available with this bulletin, represent ‘95 % confidence intervals’. It is expected that in 95 % of samples the range would contain the true value.
Interpreting Labour Market Statistics
There is an article on the website to help users interpret labour market statistics and highlight some common misunderstandings. A more detailed Guide to Labour Market Statistics is also available.
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: email@example.com
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:
Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.
|Bob Watson||+44 (0)1633 455070||Regional and Local Data/Claimant Countfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nick Palmer||+44 (0)1633 455839||Regional and National Labour Force Surveyemail@example.com|
|Emily Carless||+44 (0)1633 455717||Workforce Jobsfirstname.lastname@example.org|