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

Released: 18 July 2012 Download PDF

Key points

  • Employment rate highest in the East of England (75.0 per cent) and lowest in the North East (66.5 per cent).
  • Unemployment rate highest in the North East (10.9 per cent) and lowest in the South West (5.9 per cent).
  • Inactivity rate highest in the North East (25.2 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 March to May 2012.

Claimant Count for June 2012.

Annual Population Survey estimates for the periods January 2011 to December 2011 and April 2011 to March 2012.

Also in this release

Workforce Jobs estimates for March 2012.

Overview of regional labour market statistics published on 18 July 2012

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to May 2012 compared to the 3 months to February 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 the North West, which increased 1.3 percentage points, London, which increased 0.8 percentage points and the South West, which increased by 0.6 percentage points. For both the North West and South West, these increases appear to be largely driven by low estimates for the three months ending in February 2012, with the overall picture mostly flat over the last year.  For London however, it is possible that the increase is 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 75.0 per cent, 74.8 per cent and 73.5 per cent respectively.

The employment level for London, at 3.883 million, is a record since current regional figures started in 1992. However, due to increasing population levels, the employment rate is still below the highest on record.

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 showed a decrease of 1.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate for London.  Although this may be partially due to the estimate for the three months ending in May 2012 being unusually low, the decrease itself is statistically significant, giving further evidence to suggest that labour market conditions in London have improved recently.

A decrease of 0.8 percentage points in the estimate for the South West may be largely due to sampling variability in the estimates for this region, being partially driven by an unusually high estimate for the three month period ending in February.

Meanwhile the recent general pattern of increases in the unemployment rate for the North West may be levelling off.

The unemployment rate for the North East, at 10.9 per cent, continues to be much higher than the rest of the UK.

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 to the conditions for claiming Lone Parent Income Support are likely to have affected the Claimant Count across the UK, resulting in increases to the count for females in all regions.  Meanwhile, the male claimant count for London has shown a much larger decrease than changes seen in other regions of the UK.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 70.7 per cent for the period March to May 2012.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the East of England at 75.0 per cent, followed by the South East at 74.8 per cent and the South West at 73.5 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 66.5 per cent, followed by Wales at 68.1 per cent and London at 68.3 per cent.

The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (December 2011 to February 2012) was the North West with an increase of 1.3 percentage point followed by London with an increase of 0.8 percentage points and the South West with an increase of 0.6 percentage points. The employment rate in Wales and the West Midlands decreased by 0.2 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.3 percentage points.

Employment Rates, March to May 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

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

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Over the year the region with the largest change in the employment rate was the North East with an increase of 0.7 percentage points. This was followed by the North West with an increase of 0.6 percentage points and East Midlands with a decrease of 0.6 percentage points.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 8.1 per cent for the period March to May 2012.

The region with the highest rate was the North East at 10.9 per cent followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 9.7 per cent and the North West at 9.5 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 5.9 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 (December 2011 to February 2012) was London at 1.2 percentage points followed by the South West which decreased by 0.8 percentage points.  The unemployment rate in Yorkshire and The Humber increased by 0.4 percentage points followed by Wales which increased by 0.2 percentage points.  The UK rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points.

Unemployment Rates, March to May 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 the North East with an increase of 1.2 percentage points, Wales and Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 1.1 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 June 2012 unchanged from May.

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 6.4 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, June 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Claimant Count Rates
Source: Work and Pensions

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The Claimant Count across the UK is likely to have been affected by changes to the conditions for claiming Lone Parent Income Support. Since 21 May 2012, some lone parents have been eligible to claim Income Support until their youngest child is 5 years old; previously they had been able to claim this benefit until their youngest child was 7 years old.

This has resulted in some lone parents, whose youngest child was aged between 5 and 7, no longer being eligible to claim Income Support, resulting in some of them likely to be claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (and therefore joining the claimant count) while they look for work.

The effect of this is likely to have been to increase the Claimant Count for females in all regions of the UK.

For most regions the male claimant count has been relatively flat, with some small increases or decreases.  London, however, has shown a larger decrease with a fall of 1,100.

Changes on Month in Claimant Count Levels, by Sex, June 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Changes in Claimant Count Levels, June 2012
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 June 2012 the local authority with the lowest claimant count proportion in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 0.3 per cent. This was followed by the City of London, Hart in Hampshire, Mid Sussex and West Dorset at 1.2 per cent. Twelve local authorities had a proportion of 1.3 per cent. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.2 per cent, followed by Blaenau Gwent and Wolverhampton at 7.9 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) (2.62 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) (2.19 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (1.95 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.38 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.53 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.35 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.29 Mb Excel sheet)  

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (1.96 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (1.95 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (1.95 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.25 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) (429.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (LI02) (538 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (LI02.1) (157 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Travel-to-Work Areas (LI03) (274 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for NUTS3 Areas (LI04) (211 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

    Annual Population Survey (APS) estimates in tables 2, 2(2), 3, 6, 10 and 11 of HI01 to HI11 have been updated to reflect the population estimates published by ONS in June 2011. These differ from those used for Labour Force Survey estimates in the National Labour Market Statistical Bulletin; in table 1 of HI01 to HI11 and table HI00.

    Tables 2, 2(2), 3, 6, 10 and 11 of HI01 to HI11 along with LI01 to LI04 (previously tables 12 to 15) have been updated to include the latest APS estimates for January 2011 to December 2011 and April 2011 to March 2012.

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin

    Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates in table HI00, table 1 of HI01 to HI11 and X01 to X03 will be updated to reflect the latest population estimates and revised back to the July to September 2009 period. The population estimates in these tables will be in-line with Annual Population survey estimates which were updated in this month’s Statistical Bulletin.

  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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