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.
Tables have been renumbered for presentational purposes. More information is available in the background notes.
Updated this month
Labour Force Survey estimates for the period February to April 2012.
Claimant Count for May 2012.
Workforce Jobs estimates for March 2012.
Also in this release
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period October 2010 to September 2011.
The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to April 2012 compared to the 3 months to January 2012, showed very few large movements for the regions of the UK, with most movements reflecting the normal sampling volatility of the survey estimates.
The largest increases were for East Midlands, which increased 1.0 percentage points and Yorkshire and The Humber which increased by 0.8 percentage points. For the East Midlands, this increase appears to be largely driven by an unusually low estimate for the three months ending in January 2012, with the overall picture mostly flat over the last year. For Yorkshire and The Humber however, the increase is more representative of a pattern of increase, although possibly at a gentler rate than the latest estimate suggests.
Apart from this, the underlying picture of employment rate changes across the rest of Great Britain remains relatively flat, with Northern Ireland showing a larger decrease of 0.9 percentage points.
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 73.2 per cent 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 latest figures showed an increase of 0.5 percentage points in the unemployment rate for the North East, continuing their recent increasing trend. In addition, the North West is still showing a pattern of increasing unemployment rates.
Despite decreases in West Midlands of 0.7 percentage points and decreases of 0.5 percentage points in three other regions, the pattern for these regions and the rest of the UK remains relatively flat.
The unemployment rate for the North East, at 11.3 per cent, continues to be much higher than the rest of the UK.
The number of claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance (the claimant count) shows small increases for most regions of the UK between April 2012 and May 2012. The exceptions were in the North West, which had a very small decrease and London with a larger decrease of 2,500. It is not possible to say whether the decrease in London is due to a Jubilee or Olympic effect, however, London does appear to have performed better than the rest of the UK.
The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 70.6 per cent for the period February to April 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 73.2 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 66.5 per cent, followed by London at 67.7 per cent and Wales at 68.0 per cent.
The regions with the largest change in the employment rate on the previous period (November 2011 to January 2012) were the East Midlands with an increase of 1.0 percentage point followed by Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 0.8 percentage points and the North West and the South East both with an increase of 0.5 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.3 percentage points.
Over the year the region with the largest change in the employment rate was Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 1.0 percentage points. This was followed by London with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points.
The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 8.2 per cent for the period February to April 2012.
The region with the highest rate was the North East at 11.3 per cent followed by London at 9.7 per cent and the North West at 9.4 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 6.1 per cent, followed by the South East at 6.4 per cent and the East of England at 6.8 per cent.
The region with the largest increase in the unemployment rate on the previous period (November 2011 to January 2012) was the North East at 0.5 percentage points followed by the North West which increased by 0.1 percentage points. The unemployment rate in the West Midlands decreased by 0.7 percentage points, with decreases of 0.5 percentage points in London, Yorkshire and The Humber and Scotland. The UK rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points.
Over the year the regions with the largest changes in the unemployment rate were the North East with an increase of 1.8 percentage points, the North West with an increase of 1.3 percentage points and Wales with an increase of 1.1 percentage points.
An interactive chart showing regional unemployment rates over time is available.
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.
The seasonally adjusted claimant count rate for the UK was 4.9 per cent in May 2012 unchanged from April.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.7 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point on 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 4.0 per cent.
Over the last few years, the claimant count dropped from a peak of just over 1.6 million, to around 1.45 million, before rising back to around 1.6 million. However, different regions of the UK have faired very differently in that time. Northern Ireland has a claimant count 16 per cent higher than November 2009, with the North East 10 per cent higher. Meanwhile the South East and West Midlands have claimant counts 12 per cent and 10 per cent lower respectively.
For the period October 2010 to September 2011 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was East Northamptonshire at 84.7 per cent. The next highest was the Shetland Islands at 82.3 per cent and Reigate and Banstead in Surrey at 82.1 per cent. The lowest rates were the City of London at 47.3 per cent, followed by the London borough of Newham at 54.6 per cent and Middlesbrough at 54.7 per cent.
For the period October 2010 to September 2011 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Middlesbrough at 15.8 per cent. The next highest was the London borough of Newham at 15.2 per cent and Kingston upon Hull at 14.9 per cent. The lowest rate was in Ribble Valley in Lancashire at 3.3 per cent followed by the Shetland Islands at 3.4 per cent and South Lakeland in Cumbria at 3.5 per cent.
In May 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 Hart in Hampshire at 1.1 per cent and the City of London at 1.2 per cent. Seven local authorities had a proportion of 1.3 per cent. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.4 per cent, followed by Middlesbrough and Blaenau Gwent at 8.0 per cent. A further six local authorities had a proportion of 7.0 per cent 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.
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.
This Month’s Bulletin
Tables in this bulletin have been renumbered for presentational purposes
Regional Headline Indicators (Tables 1 to 11) have now been renumbered in the series HI00 to HI11;
Local Labour Market Indicators (Tables 12 to 15) have now been renumbered in the series LI01 to LI04;
Local Claimant Count data (Tables 16 to 17) have now been renumbered in the series JSA01 to JSA02;
Summary of Headline Indicators has been renumbered S01;
Sampling Variablility and Revisions Summary has been renumbered S02;
Model based estimates of unemployment has been renumbered M01;
Regional LFS estimates by age have now been renumbered in the series XX01 to XX03.
Next Month’s Bulletin
Annual Population Survey (APS) estimates in tables 2, 3, 6, 9, 10 and 11 of HI01 to HI11 will be updated to reflect the latest population estimates and revised back to the October 2008 to September 2009 period. The population estimates in these tables will differ from the Labour Force Survey estimates in table 1 which will be updated in the August Statistical Bulletin.
These tables, along with LI01 to LI04 (previously tables 12 to 15) will also be updated to include the latest APS estimates for January 2011 to December 2011 and April 2011 to March 2012.
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 (i.e. 60 observations for a monthly series, 20 for a quarterly series).
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.
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