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Statistical bulletin: Regional Labour Market Statistics, August 2012 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 15 August 2012 Download PDF

Key points

  • Employment rate highest in the East of England (74.9 per cent) and lowest in the North East (66.6 per cent).
  • Unemployment rate highest in the North East (10.4 per cent) and lowest in the South West (5.8 per cent).
  • Inactivity rate highest in the North East (25.5 per cent) and lowest in the East of England (19.6 per cent).
  • Claimant Count rate highest in the North East (7.7 per cent) and lowest in the South East (3.1 per cent).

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 April to June 2012.

Claimant Count for July 2012.

Also in this release

Annual Population Survey estimates for the period April 2011 to March 2012

Workforce Jobs estimates for March 2012.

Overview of regional labour market statistics published on 15 August 2012

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to June 2012 compared to the three months to March 2012, showed a few large increases for the regions of the UK, although most movements were small, reflecting the normal sampling volatility of the survey estimates.

The largest increases were for London, which increased 1.5 percentage points, the North West, which increased 1.4 percentage points and the South West, which increased by 1.1 percentage points. For both the North West and South West, these increases appear to be partially driven by low estimates for the three months ending in March 2012. 

However, in both cases the recent pattern of estimates suggests that these increases could be part of general increase in employment rates. For London, the increase appears to be part of a pattern of increasing employment rates.

Employment rates remain higher in the East of England, South East and South West than the rest of the UK at 74.9 per cent, 74.8 per cent and 74.3 per cent respectively.

The employment levels for London, at 3.830 million, and East of England, at 2.900 million, are both record highs since current regional figures started in 1992. However, due to increasing population levels, the employment rates are still below the highest on record.

The increases in the employment levels and rates for London and the North West are also both records since current regional figures started in 1992.

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

The latest figures show large decreases for London, which decreased by 1.1 percentage points, the North East which decreased by 0.9 percentage points and the South West, which decreased by 0.7 percentage points. Meanwhile there were large increases for Northern Ireland, which increased by 0.9 percentage points and Yorkshire and The Humber, which increased by 0.8 percentage points.

The decreases in the unemployment rates for the three regions listed appear to be part of a pattern of decreasing unemployment rates, although estimates for the latest period appear unusually low.

The increase in the unemployment rate for Yorkshire and The Humber appears to be predominantly due to an unusually low estimate for the three months ending in March 2012.

The unemployment rate for the North East, at 10.4 per cent, continues to be the highest in the UK, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber, with an unemployment rate of 9.8 per cent.

The unemployment level for the East Midlands, at 193 thousand, is a record since current regional figures started in 1992. However, the unemployment rate is still well below the highest on recorded.

Changes in the conditions for claiming Lone Parent Income Support are likely to have affected the Claimant Count across the UK, resulting in more females entering the count than would have been the case without the changes. The impact has been that for most regions of the UK there have been small increases in the Claimant Count for women, except in London and the South East where there have been small decreases, despite the impact of the changes to lone parent conditionality. 

Meanwhile the claimant count for men has decreased in all regions of the UK, except Northern Ireland. The net effect has generally been small decreases, where the male decrease has outweighed the female increase.  However the net effect in London is a much larger decrease of -2,800, accounting for nearly half of the overall decrease. 

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 71.0 per cent for the period April to June 2012.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the East of England at 74.9 per cent, followed by the South East at 74.8 per cent and the South West at 74.3 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 66.6 per cent, followed by Wales at 68.6 per cent and West Midlands at 68.7 per cent.

The region with the largest change in the employment rate on the previous period (January to March 2012) was London with an increase of 1.5 percentage point followed by the North West with an increase of 1.4 percentage points, the South West with an increase of 1.1 percentage points and the East Midlands with a decrease of 0.5 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.4 percentage points.

Emploment Rates, April to June 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Employment Rates
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Over the year the regions with the largest change in the employment rate were the South West and Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 1.4 percentage points. This was followed by the North West with an increase of 1.2 percentage points and East Midlands with a decrease of 0.5 percentage points.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 8.0 per cent for the period April to June 2012.

The region with the highest rate was the North East at 10.4 per cent followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 9.8 per cent and the North West at 9.1 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 5.8 per cent, followed by the South East at 6.3 per cent and the East of England at 6.6 per cent.

The region with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (January to March 2012) was London at 1.1 percentage points followed by the North East which decreased by 0.9 percentage points.  The unemployment rate in Yorkshire and The Humber increased by 0.8 percentage points followed by East Midlands which increased by 0.5 percentage points.  The UK rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points.

Unemployment Rates, April to June 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Unemployment Rates
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Over the year the regions with the largest changes in the unemployment rate were Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 1.2 percentage points, London with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points and South West with a decrease of 0.8 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 December 2011 and March 2012 with a decrease in the remaining 1 region. The largest increase of 95,000 was in London, whilst the only decrease of 33,000 was in the North West.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 13.6 per cent whilst London had the lowest proportion at 3.2 per cent.  For the service sector the situation is reversed with London having the highest proportion at 91.2 per cent and the East Midlands the lowest at 78.0 per cent.

Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, March 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Workforce Jobs by broad industry group
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Jobseeker’s Allowance

The seasonally adjusted claimant count rate for the UK was 4.9 per cent in July 2012 unchanged from June.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.7 per cent, unchanged from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 6.3 per cent and the West Midlands at 6.1 per cent.

The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 3.1 per cent. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 3.3 per cent and the East of England at 3.9 per cent.

Claimant Count Rates, July 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Claimant Count Rates
Source: Work and Pensions

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

For the period April 2011 to March 2012 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was Ribble Valley in Lancashire at 85.9 per cent. The next highest was Suffolk Coastal at 84.2 per cent and Melton in Leicestershire at 82.6 per cent. The lowest rates were Middlesbrough at 56.2 per cent, followed by Birmingham at 57.0 per cent and the London Borough of Newham at 57.1 per cent.

For the period April 2011 to March 2012 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Middlesbrough at 15.6 per cent. The next highest was Kingston upon Hull at 15.5 per cent and Hartlepool at 15.4 per cent. The lowest rate was in the Shetland Islands at 3.4 per cent followed by Ribble Valley at 3.6 per cent and South Hams in Devon, Mid Sussex, Eden and South Lakeland in Cumbria at 3.7 per cent.

In July 2012 the local authority with the lowest claimant count proportion in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 0.6 per cent. This was followed by the City of London and Hart in Hampshire at 1.1 per cent and West Dorset at 1.2 per cent. Nine local authorities had a proportion of 1.3 per cent. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.3 per cent and followed by Wolverhampton at 8.1 per cent. A further six local authorities had a proportion of 7.0 per cent or more.

Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count Interactive Map

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 2010 the highest jobs density in Great Britain was the City of London at 40.37 and the lowest was East Renfrewshire at 0.38. Westminster (3.33), Camden (1.72) and Islington (1.34), all in London were the next highest jobs densities. The highest jobs density outside London was Crawley at 1.26. After East Renfrewshire, the lowest jobs density was Lewisham in London at 0.39, followed by East Dunbartonshire at 0.40. 

Index of Tables

LFS headline indicators (Employment, unemployment and inactivity):

Headline Indicators for All Regions (HI00) (2.71 Mb ZIP)

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) (2.25 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (1.99 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.43 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.58 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.4 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.34 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (2.01 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (2 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (2 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.3 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (HI11) (2.4 Mb Excel sheet)

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

Local Indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (LI01) (258 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (LI02) (314 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (LI02.1) (114.5 Kb Excel sheet)

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

Local Indicators for NUTS3 areas (LI04) (143.5 Kb Excel sheet)

The following tables contain local claimant count data for all regions:

Claimant Count by Unitary and Local Authority (JSA01) (271.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Parliamentary Constituency (JSA02) (617.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (JSA02.1) (120 Kb Excel sheet)

Other tables:

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

Sampling Variability and Revisions Summary (S02) (41.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Model Based Estimates of Unemployment (M01) (1.75 Mb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month’s Bulletin

    Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates in table HI00, table 1 of HI01 to HI11 and X01 to X03 have been updated to reflect the population estimates published by ONS in June 2011.

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin

    The population estimates used in Table LI03 will be updated next month to reflect ONS latest mid-year population estimates published in 2011.

  3. As part of the celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee there were changes to bank holidays in May and June 2012. The late May bank holiday moved into June, and there was an additional day's holiday. The change to the holidays counted as a statistical special event in line with ONS's policy on Special Events.

  4. 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 (41.5 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 (that is, 60 observations for a monthly series, 20 for a quarterly series).

  5. 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 (41.5 Kb Excel sheet) , available with this bulletin, represent ‘95 per cent confidence intervals’. It is expected that in 95 per cent of samples the range would contain the true value.

  6. ONS has recently 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.

  7. 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
Nick Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 Regional and National Labour Force Survey nicholas.palmer@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Emily Carless +44 (0)1633 455717 Workforce Jobs emily.carless@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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