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

Released: 13 August 2014 Download PDF

Key Points

  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the South East (76.7%) and lowest in Wales (69.1%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.4%) and lowest in the South East (4.4%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.7%) and lowest in the East of England (19.3%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (5.0%) and lowest in the South East (1.7%).

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 2014 to June 2014.
Claimant Count for July 2014.

Also in this release
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period April 2013 to March 2014.
Workforce Jobs estimates for March 2014.
Public and private sector employment estimates for March 2014.

Overview of regional labour market published 13 August 2014

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

The largest increase in the employment rate was for the East Midlands at 1.0 percentage points. The latest estimate (74.0%) compares with an estimate for the three months to March (73.0%) and it is likely that the growth across the whole period has been steadier than suggested by these latest estimates.

The only decrease in the employment rate was for Wales at 0.9 percentage points. The latest estimates for Wales have been below the record high levels recorded towards the end of last and start of this year. The large decrease in employment has been accompanied by a large increase in inactivity, rather than unemployment.

With the exception of Wales, all other regions of the UK are either showing general increases in employment rates over recent periods or are fairly flat, increasing over the last year. For the North East, East Midlands and London the annual increase is statistically significant.

Employment rates remain higher in the South East at 76.7%, the East of England at 76.6% and the South West at 76.1% than the rest of the UK.

The employment levels for the North East, London and Scotland are all at record highs, with many other regions close to record highs. Despite this the rates for many regions remain below previous records due to increasing population levels. For London and the North East, however, the employment rates are at record highs of 72.6% and 70.0% respectively.

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 June 2014 compared to the three months to March 2014, were for the East Midlands at 1.3 percentage points and the North East at 0.7 percentage points.
As with the employment rate for the East Midlands, this large decrease follows an estimated increase in the unemployment rate in the previous period. It is likely that there has been a steadier pattern of decrease across the whole period than suggested by the latest estimates.

All regions of the UK are showing decreases compared with a year ago. For the North West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London and the South East the annual decrease is statistically significant.

The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK at 9.4%, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 7.8%.

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. Both London and the North East have record high employment rates combined with near record low economic inactivity rates.

The Claimant Count for July 2014 compared with June 2014 is showing decreases in the count for both men and women across all regions of the UK. The rate for Northern Ireland continues to be a little higher than for the regions and countries of Great Britain.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 73.0% for the period April 2014 to June 2014.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the South East at 76.7%, with the East of England at 76.6% and the South West at 76.1 %. The regions with the lowest rate were Wales at 69.1%, the North West at 69.9%, and the North East and West Midlands, both at 70.0%.

The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (January 2014 to March 2014) were the East Midlands with an increase of 1.0 percentage point followed by the North East and London, both with an of increase of 0.8 percentage points. The only region that saw a decrease in the employment rate was Wales at 0.9 percentage points. There was no change in the employment rate for Scotland or the West Midlands which remained at 73.5% and 70.0% respectively. The UK rate increased by 0.3 percentage points.

Figure 1: Employment Rates, April to June 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 1: Employment Rates, April to June 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 3.5 percentage points, followed by the East Midlands with an increase of 2.8 percentage points and London with an increase of 2.6 percentage points. The only decrease in the employment rate was in Wales at 0.3 percentage points. The North West had the smallest increase at 0.8 percentage points followed by the South East and West Midlands, both at 0.9 percentage points.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 6.4% for the period April 2014 to June 2014.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 9.4%, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 7.8% and the West Midlands at 7.7%. The regions with the lowest rate were the South East at 4.4%, followed by the East of England at 5.0% and the South West at 5.3%.

The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (January 2014 to March 2014) were the East Midlands at 1.3 percentage points, followed by the North East at 0.7 percentage points and the South East and the North West, both at 0.6 percentage points. The South West was the only region with an increase in the unemployment rate, at 0.4 percentage points. The UK rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points.

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, April to June 2014, Seasonally Adjusted

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, April to June 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 East Midlands at 2.5 percentage points, the West Midlands at 2.2 percentage points and the South East and London both at 1.6 percentage points.

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

Workforce Jobs (first published on 11 June 2014)

Workforce Jobs increased in 10 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between December 2013 and March 2014, with the West Midlands showing the only decrease of 9,000. The largest increase of 91,000 was in London, followed by the North West which increased by 75,000.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 14.0% whilst London had the lowest proportion at 2.9%. For the service sector, London had the highest proportion at 91.9% whilst the East Midlands had the lowest proportion at 78.2%.

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

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

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Jobseeker's Allowance

The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 3.0% in July 2014, down 0.1 percentage point from June 2014, with the level down 33,600.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 5.0%, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber and Wales, both at 4.0%, and the West Midlands at 3.9%.

The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 1.7%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 1.8% and the East of England at 2.2%.

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

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

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

For the period April 2013 to March 2014, the local authorities with the highest employment rate in Great Britain were North Dorset and Uttlesford, both at 86.7%. The next highest was Eden in Cumbria at 86.6% and South Northamptonshire at 86.4%. There were two local authorities with a rate lower than 60%: West Somerset at 55.9% and Dundee City at 59.6%.

For the period April 2013 to March 2014, the local authority with the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Hartlepool at 13.6%, followed by Kingston upon Hull at 13.5% and Leicester at 13.4%. There were 5 local authorities with a rate of less than 3%: Eden in Cumbria at 2.6%, South Lakeland at 2.7% and South Northamptonshire, the Shetland Islands and Stratford-on-Avon, all at 2.9%.

In July 2014 the local authority with the lowest proportion of the population aged from 16 to 64 years claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 0.2%, followed by Richmondshire, Stratford-on-Avon, South Cambridgeshire, Hart in Hampshire, South Oxfordshire, Mole Valley, Waverley, Mid Sussex, North Dorset, West Dorset and the Shetland Islands, all at 0.6%. There were a further 14 local authorities at 0.7%.  These were followed by a further 53 local authorities with a proportion of 1.0% or less. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull and Wolverhampton, both at 5.7%, followed by Middlesbrough at 5.5%. There were a further 4 local authorities in Great Britain with a proportion of 5.0% or more.

Figure 5: Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count rates by local authority varied between Isles of Scilly 0.2% and Kingston upon Hull and Wolverhampton both at 5.7%.
Source: Work and Pensions

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  • PNG
    (109.8 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 (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) (7.35 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) (2.22 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (1.98 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.41 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.57 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.41 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.37 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (2 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (1.98 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (1.98 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.24 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (HI11)  (2.41 Mb Excel sheet)

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


Local Indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (LI01) (250.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (LI02) (312 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) (145.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LI05) (105.5 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) (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) (69 Kb Excel sheet)

Model Based Estimates of Unemployment (M01) (2.16 Mb Excel sheet)

Public and private sector employment (RPUB1) (239.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month’s Bulletin
    In this edition of the bulletin tables JSA01, JSA03, LI01, LI03 and LI05 have been updated with the latest 2013 mid-year population estimates for local and unitary authorities, regions and countries. The population estimates for regions and countries in tables LI02, LI02.1, LI04, JSA02 and JSA02.1 have also been updated. These population estimates are used in the calculation of JSA proportions and Jobs Densities.

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin
    There are no planned changes to next month’s bulletin.

  3. Revisions to Labour Force Survey estimates planned for October 2014
    ONS currently plans to revise estimates derived from the Labour Force Survey (including estimates of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity), in the October 2014 edition of this Statistical Bulletin, as a result of taking on board population estimates from the 2011 Census. Estimates will be revised back to June to August 2001. Similar revisions to Annual Population Survey estimates back to the start of the series will follow a few months later.

  4. 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 List of Jobcentre Plus Offices under Universal Credit. (76.1 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.

    A new data table (67 Kb Excel sheet) has been introduced in the National Labour Market Release providing an indicative representation of the Claimant Count including experimental Universal Credit statistics. There is also a guidance document (16.5 Kb Pdf) to accompany this.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 (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 the Summary Quality Report. (295.4 Kb Pdf)

  7. 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:

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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