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 2014 to April 2014.
Claimant Count for May 2014.
Workforce Jobs estimates for March 2014.
Public and private sector employment estimates for March 2014.
Claimant Count workplace based denominators for 2014.
Also in this release
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period January 2013 to December 2013.
The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to April 2014 compared to the three months to January 2014, showed increases for most of the regions and countries of the UK.
The largest increase in the employment rate was for the North East at 1.3 percentage points, followed by the East Midlands at 1.2 percentage points.
The largest decrease in the employment rate was for Wales at 1.0 percentage point. The latest estimates for Wales have been below the record high levels recorded towards the end of last and start of this year, but are still higher than the levels reported for a year ago.
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, with all regions showing an increase over the last year.
Employment rates remain higher in the South East at 76.4%, South West at 76.1% and East of England at 75.9% than the rest of the UK.
The employment levels for the North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, London, South East and South West are all at record highs, with all other regions close to record highs. Despite this, the rates for many regions remain below previous records due to increasing population levels. For London, however, the employment rate is at a record high at 72.3%.
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 April 2014 compared to the three months to January 2014 were for the South West and East Midlands, both at 1.0 percentage point.
The only region that did not show a decrease was the North East which increased by 0.3 percentage points. However, along with all other regions of the UK, the North East is showing a decrease compared with a year ago.
The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK at 9.8%, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.2%.
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.
The Claimant Count for May 2014 compared with April 2014 is showing decreases in the count for both men and women across all regions of the UK. The rate of decrease for Northern Ireland continues to be a little slower than across Great Britain.
The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 72.9% for the period February 2014 to April 2014.
The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the South East at 76.4%, with the South West at 76.1% and the East of England at 75.9 %. The regions with the lowest rate were the North East at 69.5%, with the North West at 70.0% and Wales at 70.1%.
The region with the largest change in the employment rate on the previous period (November 2013 to January 2014) was the North East with an increase of 1.3 percentage points followed by the East Midlands with an increase of 1.2 percentage points and the South West and the North West with an increase of 1.0 percentage point. There were decreases in the employment rate in Wales and the South East of 1.0 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively. The UK rate increased by 0.6 percentage points.
Over the year the regions with the largest increase in the employment rate were the North East with an increase of 2.9 percentage points, followed by the East Midlands with an increase of 2.8 percentage points and London with an increase of 2.1 percentage points. There were no decreases in the employment rate; the West Midlands and the North West had the smallest increase of 0.3 percentage points.
The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 6.6% for the period February 2014 to April 2014.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 9.8% followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 8.2% and the North West at 7.6%. The regions with the lowest rate were the South East at 4.8%, followed by the South West at 4.9% and the East of England at 5.3%.
The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (November 2013 to January 2014) were the South West and the East Midlands, both at 1.0 percentage points followed by the West Midlands and London both at 0.7 percentage points. The only region with an increase in the unemployment rate was the North East at 0.3 percentage points. The UK rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points.
Over the year all regions showed a decrease in the unemployment rate. The largest decreases were in the West Midlands at 1.9 percentage points, the South East, the East Midlands and Wales all at 1.8 percentage points and the East of England and the South West both at 1.3 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 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%.
The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 3.2% in May 2014, down 0.1 percentage point from April 2014, with the level down 27,400.
The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 5.4%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 4.4% and the West Midlands and Wales at 4.2%.
The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 1.8%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 2.0% and the East of England at 2.4%.
For the period January 2013 to December 2013 the local authority with the highest employment rate in Great Britain was South Northamptonshire at 89.3%. The next highest was North Dorset at 86.4% and Uttlesford in Essex at 85.9%. There were four local authorities with a rate lower than 60%: Nottingham at 58.4%, Birmingham at 59.2%, Newcastle upon Tyne at 59.3% and Pendle in Lancashire at 59.8%.
For the period January 2013 to December 2013 the local authorities with the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain were Birmingham and Blaenau Gwent at 14.4%, followed by Hartlepool at 14.3% and Leicester at 14.0%. There were three local authorities with a rate of less than 3%: South Lakeland at 2.5% and Eden in Cumbria and South Northamptonshire both at 2.8%.
In May 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 Mid Sussex at 0.6%. There were a further 10 local authorities at 0.7%. These were followed by a further 45 local authorities with a proportion of 1.0% or less. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 6.3% followed by Wolverhampton at 6.2%. There were a further 8 local authorities in Great Britain with a proportion of 5.0% 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 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.
This Month’s Bulletin
Revisions have been made to the seasonally adjusted claimant count estimates back to January 2011 following the latest annual review of the seasonal adjustment process. The denominators used to calculate national and regional claimant count rates have been updated and revised back to 1996, taking on board revisions to Workforce Jobs estimates. Rates from January 2013 are based on mid-2013 denominators.
The tables relating to Workforce Jobs (Tables 4 & 5 of the regional headline indicators HI01-HI11) have undergone a number of improvements this month. The format has been changed so that each table will now be located in the same row of the spreadsheet each month.
Tables for public and private sector employment for the periods after Q2 2013 are shown as n/a (not applicable) since the underlying purpose of these series is to provide tables which remove significant public sector discontinuities. Following the recent reclassifications into the public sector of Direct Line, Royal Mail and Lloyds Bank there is a need for a new version of these tables to be produced whereby these organisations are placed in the private sector for all time periods. ONS will seek to provide an enhanced version of this table as soon as possible.
Next Month’s Bulletin
There are no planned changes for next month’s bulletin.
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.
Introduction of Universal Credit
On 29 April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started a Pathfinder for UC which created the first jobseeker UC claimants. This was extended to a further nine Jobcentre Plus Offices (JCP). Further information for dates of roll out to UC 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.
On 14 May 2014, 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 5,180 people were claiming Universal Credit on 28 February 2014. 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 14 May 2014.
ONS will include jobseeker Universal Credit claims in the Claimant Count statistics as soon as possible.
A list of the job titles of those given pre-publication access to the contents of this Statistical Bulletin is available on the website.
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 (61.5 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:
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 (61.5 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|
|Mark Williams||+44 (0)1633 456728||Workforce Jobsfirstname.lastname@example.org|