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 February to April 2013.
Claimant Count for May 2013.
Workforce Jobs estimates for March 2013.
Also in this release
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period January 2012 to December 2012.
The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to April 2013 compared to the three months to January 2013, showed very few large changes for the regions and countries of the UK.
The largest increase was for Scotland which increased by 1.1 percentage points. Although this increase is partially a result of some unusually low employment rate estimates towards the end of last year, it is still unclear whether this is the start of a pattern of rises, with the general picture for Scotland being relatively flat for the last few years.
Meanwhile the largest decrease was for the West Midlands which decreased by 1.2 percentage points. This decrease is partially due to unusually high estimates towards the end of last year and may reflect a levelling off of the employment picture in the region rather than the start of a period of decreases.
Despite a smaller decrease of 0.6 percentage points, the employment rate for the North East appears to be decreasing from the higher levels in the latter part of 2012.
Employment rates remain higher in the South East at 74.8%, South West at 74.7% and East of England at 74.5% than the rest of the UK.
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 decrease in the unemployment rate for the three months to April 2013 compared to the three months to January 2013 was for the North West, which decreased by 0.8 percentage points. Following a number of decreases over the last year, the unemployment rate for the North West is now significantly lower than it was at the same point in 2012.
The largest increase was for the West Midlands at 0.8 percentage points. As with the fall in the employment rate for the region, it is unclear whether this increase is likely to be the start of a pattern of increasing rates.
The rate for the North East is the highest in the UK at 10.1%.
The Claimant Count for May 2013 compared with April 2013 is showing decreases across nearly all regions of the UK with only the South West recording a very small increase.
The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 71.5% for the period February to April 2013.
The regions with the highest rate were the South East at 74.8%, with the South West at 74.7 % and the East of England at 74.5%. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 66.6%, followed by Wales at 69.4% and the North West at 69.7%.
The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (November 2012 to January 2013) were Scotland with an increase of 1.1 percentage points followed by Wales with an increase of 0.4. The region with the largest decrease in the employment rate was the West Midlands with a decrease of 1.2 percentage points followed by the North East and the East Midlands with a decrease of 0.6 percentage points respectively. The UK rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point.
Over the year the regions with the largest change in the employment rate were London with an increase of 2.4 percentage points, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 1.4 percentage points and the South West and Wales both at 1.3 percentage points. The region with the largest decrease in the employment rate was the East Midlands with a decrease of 1.0 percentage points.
The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 7.8% for the period February to April 2013.
The region with the highest rate was the North East at 10.1% followed by the West Midlands at 9.4% and Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.9%. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 6.2%, followed by the South East at 6.6% and the East of England at 6.7%.
The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (November 2012 to January 2013) was the North West at 0.8 percentage points followed by Scotland which decreased by 0.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate in the West Midlands increased by 0.8 percentage points followed by the South West which increased by 0.4 percentage points. The UK rate remained unchanged.
Over the year the regions with the largest changes in the unemployment rate were the North West with a decrease of 1.5 percentage points, London with a decrease of 1.1 percentage points and the West Midlands with an increase of 1.1 percentage points.
An interactive chart showing regional unemployment rates over time is available.
Workforce Jobs increased in 8 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between December 2012 and March 2013 with a decrease in the other 3 remaining regions. The largest increase of 102,000 was in London, whilst the largest decrease of 30,000 was in Wales.
The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 13.1% whilst London had the lowest proportion at 4.9%. For the service sector London has the highest proportion at 92.2% whilst Wales has the lowest at proportion at 78.7%.
The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 4.5% in May 2013 unchanged from April, although the level was down 8,600.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.2%, unchanged from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 5.9% and the West Midlands at 5.6%.
The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 2.7%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 2.9% and the East of England at 3.6%.
For the period January 2012 to December 2012 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was South Norfolk at 86.4%. The next highest was South Bucks in Buckinghamshire at 85.0% and Corby in Northamptonshire at 84.6%. The lowest rates were Birmingham at 57.0%, followed by Middlesbrough 58.8% and Blaenau Gwent at 59.0%.
For the period January 2012 to December 2012 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Kingston upon Hull at 15.6%. The next highest was Middlesbrough at 15.4% and Blaenau Gwent 14.5%. The lowest rate was in West Dorset and Eden at 3.2% followed by South Lakeland in Cumbria at 3.3%.
In May 2013 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 0.5% followed by Mid Sussex at 1.0% and Hart in Hampshire, Stratford-on-Avon and West Dorset at 1.1%. These were followed by ten areas all at 1.2% and a further 81 areas with a proportion of less than 2%. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.3%, followed by Middlesbrough at 8.0%. These were followed by four local authorities with a proportion of 7.0% or more and a further nine 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.
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 density was Waltham Forest at 0.40, followed by Newham, East Renfrewshire 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). Three further offices will take claims from Summer 2013 and the roll out of Universal Credit across the rest of the UK will commence in October 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.
The Claimant Count estimates for 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 very small effect on the Claimant Count for May 2013. This assessment reflects the small scale of the Pathfinder which initially only includes some of the new claims in Ashton under Lyne Jobcentre Plus office.
ONS is working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to include jobseeker Universal Credit claims in the Claimant Count statistics as soon as possible. Universal Credit information will be collated and quality assured by DWP statisticians to ensure that they meet the necessary quality standards before being passed to ONS for inclusion in the Claimant Count estimates.
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).
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:
• the LFS User Guide, and
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 % 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|
|Emily Carless||+44 (0)1633 455717||Workforce Jobsfirstname.lastname@example.org|