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Statistical bulletin: Regional Labour Market Statistics, April 2014 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 16 April 2014 Download PDF

Key Points

  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the South East (76.3%) and lowest in the North East (69.1%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.3%) and lowest in the South West (4.9%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in the North West (24.4%) and lowest in the South East and the East of England (19.5%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (5.5%) and lowest in the South East (1.9%).

In this bulletin:

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 2013 to February 2014.
Claimant Count for March 2014. 
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period January 2013 to December 2013.
Workforce Jobs estimates for December 2013.   
 
Also in this release
Public and Private sector employment estimates for December 2013.

Overview of regional labour market statistics published 16 April 2014

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to February 2014 compared to the three months to November 2013, showed increases for most of the regions and countries of the UK.

The largest increase in the employment rate was for the South West at 1.6 percentage points, followed by the North East at 1.5 percentage points and the North West at 0.9 percentage points. For each of these regions the pattern of recent estimates indicates that the employment rate is rising, but at a steadier rate than suggested by these latest estimates.

The largest decrease in the employment rate was for Yorkshire and The Humber at 0.4 percentage points. This decrease appears to be partly because the estimate for three months ago was for a higher rate than suggested by the general movements in the series. The underlying pattern in the region is for a gentle increase in the employment rate.

Along with these, all other regions of the UK are either showing general increases in employment over recent periods or are flat.

Employment rates remain higher in the South East at 76.3%, East of England at 76.0% and South West at 75.8%, than the rest of the UK.

The employment levels for the North East, East of England, London, South East, South West and Scotland are all at record highs, with all other regions close to record highs. Despite this the rates for many regions remain below previous records due to increasing population levels. For London, however, the employment rate is at a record high, with the employment rate of Wales at a joint record high.

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

The largest decreases in the unemployment rate for the three months to February 2014 compared to the three months to November 2013 were for the South West at 1.9 percentage points, followed by the North East at 0.9 percentage points.

The unusually large decrease in the unemployment rate for the South West is partially due to an abnormal estimate for the three months to November 2013, which appears to be inconsistently high in comparison with estimates for other periods. Likewise, the estimate for the latest period appears to be inconsistently low in comparison with estimates for other periods. Although the underlying pattern suggests that the unemployment rate for the South West is decreasing, the rate of decrease is likely to be far more gradual than suggested by comparing these two estimates.

The only large increase in the unemployment rate was for the East Midlands at 0.6 percentage points, although this is largely due to an unusually low estimate for the three months to November 2013. The underlying pattern over the last year suggests that the unemployment rate for the region is actually slowly decreasing.

Again the underlying pattern suggests all of the regions are showing a pattern of gradual decrease in the unemployment rate or are flat.

The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK at 9.3%, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.5%.

There are a number of regions where the employment rate is quite high compared with historical levels. Generally these high employment rates are being matched by historically low levels of economic inactivity. This means that despite the high employment rates, unemployment rates are yet to return to the levels they were prior to the recession. This effect is particularly noticeable in regions that historically have the highest inactivity rates.

The Claimant Count for March 2014 compared with February 2014 is showing decreases in the count for both men and women across all regions of the UK. Northern Ireland is decreasing at a slower rate than the rest of the UK.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 72.6% for the period December 2013 to February 2014.

The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the South East at 76.3%, followed by the East of England at 76.0% and the South West at 75.8 %. The regions with the lowest rate were the North East at 69.1%, followed by the North West at 69.8% and the West Midlands at 70.2%.

The regions with the largest change in the employment rate on the previous period (September 2013 to November 2013) were the South West with an increase of 1.6 percentage points followed by the North East with an of increase 1.5 percentage points and the North West with an increase of 0.9 percentage points. There were decreases in the employment rate in Yorkshire and The Humber and the East Midlands of 0.4 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively. The UK rate increased by 0.5 percentage points.

Figure 1: Employment Rates, December 2013 to February 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 1: Employment Rates, December 2013 to February 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 Wales with an increase of 2.2 percentage points, followed by the North East with an increase of 2.0 percentage points and Scotland with an increase of 1.7 percentage points. The only region with a decrease in the employment rate was the West Midlands at 0.7 percentage points, compared with an increase of 1.2 percentage points for the UK.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 6.9% for the period December 2013 to February 2014.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 9.3% followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.5% and the West Midlands at 8.2%. The regions with the lowest rate were the South West at 4.9%, followed by the South East at 5.1% and the East of England at 5.4%.

The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (September 2013 to November 2013) were the South West at 1.9 percentage points followed by the North East at 0.9 percentage points and Wales at 0.4 percentage points. The region with the largest increase in the unemployment rate was the East Midlands at 0.6 percentage points. This was followed by Yorkshire and The Humber, Scotland and the West Midlands which all increased by 0.1 percentage points. The UK rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points.

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, December 2013 to February 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, December 2013 to February 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 the South East at 1.7 percentage points, the East of England at 1.5 percentage points and Wales at 1.4 percentage points.

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

Workforce Jobs

Workforce Jobs increased in 10 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between September 2013 and December 2013 with the North East showing the only decrease of 3,000. The largest increase of 108,000 was in London followed by the North West which increased by 74,000.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 14.1% whilst London had the lowest proportion at 2.9%. For the service sector London had the highest proportion at 91.7% whilst Wales had the lowest proportion at 78.3%.

Figure 3: Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, December 2013, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 3: Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, December 2013, Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Jobseeker's Allowance

The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 3.4% in March 2014, down 0.1 percentage points from February, with the level down 30,400.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 5.5%, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 4.6% and the West Midlands at 4.3%.

The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 1.9%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 2.1% and the East of England at 2.6%.

Figure 4: Claimant Count Rates, March 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 4: Claimant Count Rates, March 2014, Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Work and Pensions

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

For the period January 2013 to December 2013 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was South Northamptonshire at 89.3%. The next highest was North Dorset at 86.4% and Uttlesford in Essex at 85.9%. There were four local authorities with a rate lower than 60%: Pendle in Lancashire at 59.8%, Newcastle upon Tyne at 59.3%, Birmingham at 59.2% and Nottingham at 58.4%.

For the period January 2013 to December 2013 there were four local authorities in Great Britain with an unemployment rate of 14% or more:  Leicester at 14.0%, Hartlepool at 14.3% and Birmingham and Blaenau Gwent at 14.4%. There were three areas with a rate of less than 3%: Eden in Cumbria and South Northamptonshire both at 2.8% and South Lakeland at 2.5%.
 
In March 2014 the local authority with the lowest proportion of the population aged from 16 to 64 years claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 0.5%, followed by Mid Sussex at 0.7% and a further 10 areas at 0.8%.  These were followed by a further 26 local authorities with a proportion of 1.0% or less. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 6.8%. There were 3 other local authorities in Great Britain with a proportion of 6% or more: Wolverhampton at 6.5%, Middlesbrough at 6.4% and Hartlepool at 6.1%.

Figure 5: Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count rates by local authority varied between the Isles of Scilly 0.5% and Kingston upon Hull 6.8%

Download map

  • PNG
    (107.2 Kb)

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.

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 at 0.39, 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) (7.44 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) (2.17 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (1.92 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.4 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.51 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.34 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.31 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (1.95 Mb Excel sheet)     

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (1.92 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (1.92 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.18 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (HI11) (2.35 Mb Excel sheet)  

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


Local Indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (LI01) (247.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (LI02) (311.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (LI02.1) (115.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Travel-to-Work Areas (LI03) (180 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for NUTS3 areas (LI04) (144.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LI05) (105 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) (622.5 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) (96 Kb Excel sheet)

Model Based Estimates of Unemployment (M01) (2.1 Mb Excel sheet)

Public and private sector employment (RPUB1) (214 Kb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month’s Bulletin
    In this edition of this statistical bulletin, ONS has introduced two new tables for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England:
    • JSA03 will contain Claimant Count for LEPs and     
    • LI05 will contain local area indicators for Employment, Unemployment, Claimant Count and Jobs Densities.

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin
    In the May 2014 edition of this bulletin tables JSA02 and LI02 will be updated with the latest 2012 mid-year population estimates for Westminster parliamentary constituencies consistent with the 2011 census. These population estimates are used in the calculation of  JSA proportions and Jobs Densities.

  3. Introduction of Universal Credit
    On 29 April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started a Pathfinder for UC which created the first jobseeker UC claimants. This is being extended to a further nine Jobcentre Plus Offices (JCP). Further information for dates of roll out to UC can be found in List of Jobcentre Plus Offices under Universal Credit (24.1 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.

    On 19 March 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a statistical release providing data for the number of people claiming Universal Credit. This release shows that 3,780 people were claiming Universal Credit on 31 December 2013. This total includes all claimants of Universal Credit, not just those who were jobseekers.

    The Claimant Count estimates from May 2013, published in this Statistical Bulletin, do not include claimants of Universal Credit. The absence of Universal Credit claimants is expected to have a small effect on the Claimant Count from May 2013. This assessment reflects the information published by DWP on 19 March 2014.

    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 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 (61.5 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 (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)

  6. 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:

  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 (61.5 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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