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 September to November 2013.
Claimant Count for December 2013.
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period October 2012 to September 2013.
Also in this release
Workforce Jobs estimates for September 2013.
Public and private sector employment.
The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to November 2013 compared to the three months to August 2013, showed quite a few large increases for the regions and countries of the UK.
The largest increases in the employment rate were for the West Midlands at 1.4 percentage points, Wales at 1.3 percentage points, the North East at 1.2 percentage points and the East Midlands at 1.1 percentage points. For each of these regions the underlying pattern appears to suggest that the increase is more gradual than the latest figures show.
Along with these all other regions of the UK are either showing general increases in employment over recent periods or are flat, even though a few regions showed very small decreases in the employment rate for the three months to November 2013.
Employment rates remain higher in the South East at 76.1%, East of England at 75.5% and South West at 74.2% than the rest of the UK.
The employment levels for Yorkshire and The Humber, the East Midlands, the South East, London and Wales are all at record highs. In the case of London and Wales, the employment rates were also record highs.
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 November 2013 compared to the three months to August 2013 were for the East Midlands and West Midlands, both with decreases of 1.3 percentage points. These were followed by Wales and Scotland, both with decreases of 0.9 percentage points. Again these decreases are larger than the underlying pattern suggests, although these and nearly all of the other regions are showing a pattern of gradual decrease in the unemployment rate.
The only region that is not showing a pattern of generally decreasing unemployment is the South West, where the unemployment rate appears to be slowly increasing.
The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK at 10.3%, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.4%.
As stated earlier, the employment rates for London and Wales are at record highs. Despite this, the unemployment rates for these regions are still well above the levels that these regions had prior to the recession. This is principally because the economic inactivity rates for these regions are at record lows.
This pattern has been repeated in a number of regions, with a recovery in employment rates being matched by falls in inactivity rates, meaning that 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 December 2013 compared with November 2013 is showing decreases across all regions of the UK. The rates of decrease for the regions of Great Britain have generally slowed from earlier recent periods. This has resulted in decreases that, while still larger than the decrease in Northern Ireland, are far more comparable than has been the case in recent months.
The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 72.1% for the period September to November 2013.
The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the South East at 76.1%, with the East of England at 75.5% and the South West at 74.2 %. The regions with the lowest rate were the North East at 67.6%, with the North West at 68.8% and the West Midlands at 69.9%.
The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the three month period (June to August 2013) were the West Midlands with an increase of 1.4 percentage points followed by Wales with an increase of 1.3 percentage points and the North East with an increase of 1.2 percentage points. The regions with the largest decreases in the employment rate were the South East and the South West both with a decrease of 0.2 percentage points followed by Scotland and the East of England both with a decrease of 0.1 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.5 percentage points.
Over the year the regions with the largest increase in the employment rate were Wales with an increase of 2.5 percentage points, followed by Scotland at 2.0 percentage points and London at 1.5 percentage points. The regions with the largest decrease in the employment rate were the North West with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points and the North East with a decrease of 0.6 percentage points.
The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 7.1% for the period September to November 2013.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 10.3% followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.4% and the West Midlands at 8.1%. The regions with the lowest rate were the South East at 5.3%, followed by the East of England at 5.7% and the East Midlands at 6.4%.
The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the three month period (June to August 2013) were the West Midlands and the East Midlands both at 1.3 percentage points followed by Wales and Scotland both at 0.9 percentage points. Only one region in Great Britain showed an increase in the unemployment rate; the South West increased by 0.5 percentage points. The UK rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points.
Over the year the regions with the largest changes in the unemployment rate were the East Midlands with a decrease of 1.8 percentage points, Scotland with a decrease of 1.3 percentage points and the South West with an increase of 1.4 percentage points.
An interactive chart showing regional unemployment rates over time is available.
Workforce Jobs increased in 9 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between June 2013 and September 2013 with a decrease in the remaining 2 regions. The largest increase of 76,000 was in London, whilst the largest decrease of 2,000 was in Wales.
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 the situation reversed with London having the highest proportion at 91.6% whilst the East Midlands had the lowest proportion at 78.6%.
The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 3.7% in December 2013, down 0.1 percentage points from November, with the level down 24,000.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 6.0%, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 4.9% and the West Midlands at 4.7%.
The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 2.2%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 2.4% and the East of England at 2.9%.
For the period October 2012 to September 2013 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was South Northamptonshire at 87.8%. The next highest was Watford at 87.4% and Brentwood at 87.1%. The lowest rates were Nottingham at 57.2%, followed by Middlesbrough at 58.3% and Newcastle upon Tyne and Birmingham at 58.7%.
For the period October 2012 to September 2013 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Birmingham at 16.0%. The next highest was Middlesbrough at 15.0% and Blaenau Gwent at 14.7%. The lowest rate was South Lakeland at 2.4% followed by Eden in Cumbria at 2.8%.
In December 2013 the local authority with the lowest proportion of the population aged from 16 to 64 years claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Great Britain were the Isles of Scilly at 0.7%, followed by seven local authorities with a proportion of 0.8%. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull and Middlesbrough at 6.9%, and a further three 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.
The job density of an area is the number of jobs per head of resident population aged 16 to 64. 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 densities were Waltham Forest and East Renfrewshire both at 0.40, followed by Newham, Haringey and East Dunbartonshire all at 0.41.
This Month’s Bulletin
There are no significant changes in this month’s bulletin.
Next Month’s Bulletin
There are no significant changes planned for next month’s bulletin.
Introduction of Universal Credit
The Pathfinder for Universal Credit started on 29 April 2013 with the introduction of this new benefit in one Jobcentre Plus office (Ashton under Lyne). The pathfinder was extended to a second Jobcentre Plus office (Wigan) on 1 July 2013 and two further offices (Oldham and Warrington) joined the pathfinder on 29 July 2013.
The progressive national roll out of Universal Credit across the rest of the UK commenced with Hammersmith Jobcentre Plus office on 28 October 2013 and was followed by Rugby and Inverness Jobcentre Plus offices on 25 November 2013.
Universal Credit will replace a number of means-tested benefits including the means-tested element of 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 means-tested 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 3 December 2013, 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 2,030 people were claiming Universal Credit on 30 September 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 3 December 2013.
ONS will include jobseeker Universal Credit claims in the Claimant Count statistics as soon as possible.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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|
|Nicholas Palmer||+44 (0)1633 455839||Regional and national Labour Force Surveyemail@example.com|
|Mark Williams||+44 (0)1633 456728||Workforce Jobsfirstname.lastname@example.org|