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Statistical bulletin: Regional Labour Market Statistics, March 2013 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 20 March 2013 Download PDF

Key points

  • Employment rate highest in the South East and East of England (74.9%) and lowest in the North East (67.2%).
  • Unemployment rate highest in the North East (9.8%) and lowest in the South West (5.8%).
  • Inactivity rate highest in the North East (25.4%) and lowest in the South East and East of England (19.6%).
  • Claimant Count rate highest in the North East (7.6%) and lowest in the South East (3.0%).

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 November 2012 to January 2013.
Claimant Count for February 2013.

Also in this release
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period October 2011 to September 2012.
Workforce Jobs estimates for September 2012.

Overview of regional labour market statistics published 20 March 2013

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to January 2013 compared to the three months to October 2012, showed a number of large changes, both increases and decreases.

The largest increase was for London which increased by 1.2 percentage points, while the West Midlands increased by 1.1 percentage points and Scotland by 0.7 percentage points.

Meanwhile the largest decrease was for Northern Ireland which decreased by 1.2 percentage points while the North East decreased by 0.8 percentage points.

Both the increases for London and the West Midlands appear to be part of an ongoing pattern of increasing employment.  However it is unclear at this stage how much of the other changes are due to sampling variability, with underlying patterns suggesting a much flatter picture than reflected in the latest estimates.

Employment rates remain higher in the South East and East of England, both at 74.9%, and the South West at 74.6% than the rest of the UK.

The employment level for the West Midlands is at a record high, although the rate remains below record levels due to increasing population numbers.

Regional figures for the unemployment rate are quite volatile, which needs to be allowed for when considering the pattern of change over time.

The only large change in the unemployment rate for the three months to January 2013 compared to the three months to October 2012 was for Northern Ireland, which increased by 0.7 percentage points to 8.5%.  

The unemployment rate for the North East at 9.8% continues to be the highest in the UK.

The two regions that are showing a pattern of growth in the employment rates, that is London and the West Midlands, are both showing a pattern of decrease in their rates of economic inactivity rather than strong falls in unemployment rates.  Economic inactivity rates for London and the West Midlands are both at record lows.

The picture for the Claimant Count across the UK has been mixed with a number of regions showing their first increases for a number of months, while other regions are still showing decreases, although smaller than decreases in recent months.  The notable exception is the North East, where the latest decrease is comparable with recent falls.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 71.5% for the period November 2012 to January 2013.

The regions with the highest rate were the South East and East of England both at 74.9%, with the South West at 74.6%. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 67.2%, followed by Wales at 69.0% and the North West at 69.5%.

The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (August 2012 to October 2012) was London with an increase of 1.2 percentage points followed by the West Midlands with an increase of 1.1 percentage points and Scotland with an increase of 0.7 percentage points. The region with the largest decrease in the employment rate was the North East with a decrease of 0.8 percentage points. The only other regions to show a decrease were Yorkshire and The Humber and Wales with decreases of 0.4 and 0.2 percentage points respectively. The UK rate increased by 0.3 percentage points.

Figure 1: Employment Rates, November 2012 to January 2013, Seasonally Adjusted

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

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Over the year the regions with the largest change in the employment rate were London with an increase of 2.8 percentage points, followed by the West Midlands at 2.6 percentage points and Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.0 percentage points.  No regions in Great Britain showed a decrease in the employment rate over the year.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 7.8% for the period November 2012 to January 2013.

The region with the highest rate was the North East at 9.8% followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 9.0% and the West Midlands at 8.7%. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 5.8%, followed by the South East and the East of England both at 6.6%.

The regions with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (August 2012 to October 2012) were London at 0.5 percentage points followed by the East of England at 0.3 percentage points. The East Midlands and Scotland both decreased by 0.2 percentage points. The unemployment rate in Wales increased by 0.5 percentage points followed by the South East and North East which both increased by 0.3 percentage points. The UK rate was unchanged.

Figure 2: Unemployment Rates, November 2012 to January 2013, Seasonally Adjusted

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

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Over the year all regions in Great Britain showed a decrease in the unemployment rate except the South East which increased 0.1 percentage points. The regions with the largest decrease were London with a decrease of 1.6 percentage points, Scotland with a decrease of 1.1 percentage points and the North East with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points.

An interactive chart showing regional unemployment rates over time is available.

Workforce Jobs

Estimates of workforce jobs for December 2012 were originally scheduled for publication in this month’s release. The publication of these estimates has been postponed until next month’s release due to operational difficulties which have resulted in a need for further quality assurance.

Workforce Jobs increased in 7 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between June 2012 and September 2012 with a decrease in other 4 remaining regions. The largest increase of 41,000 was in Yorkshire and The Humber, whilst the largest decrease of 39,000 was in the East Midlands.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 13.8 % whilst London had the lowest proportion at 3.1%. For the service sector London has the highest proportion at 91.7% whilst Wales has the lowest proportion at 78.5 %.

Figure 3: Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, September 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 4.7% in February 2013 unchanged from January, although the level was down 1,500.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.6%, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 6.2% and the West Midlands at 5.9%.

The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 3.0%. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 3.1% and the East of England at 3.8%.

Figure 4: Claimant Count Rates, February 2013, Seasonally Adjusted

Claimant Count Rates
Source: Work and Pensions

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

For the period October 2011 to September 2012 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was Uttlesford in Essex at 86.1%. The next highest was Corby in Northamptonshire at 85.3% and Redditch in Worcestershire at 84.2%. The lowest rates were Birmingham at 56.6%, followed by London Borough of Newham at 57.2% and Blaenau Gwent at 58.5%.

For the period October 2011 to September 2012 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Kingston upon Hull at 15.4%. The next highest was Middlesbrough at 14.9% and Blaenau Gwent 14.8%. The lowest rate was in West Dorset at 3.2% followed by Shetland Islands at 3.4% and Eden at 3.5%.
 
In February 2013 the local authorities with the lowest proportion of the population aged from 16 to 64 years claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Great Britain were Hart in Hampshire and Mid Sussex both at 1.2%. This was followed by five areas all at 1.3% and a further 60 areas with a proportion of less than 2%. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 9.0%, followed by Middlesbrough at 8.7% and Hartlepool at 8.2%. These were followed by eight local authorities which have a proportion of 7.0% or more and a further 13 local authorities with a proportion of 6.0% or more.

Figure 5: Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count Interactive Map

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  • PNG
    (48.9 Kb)

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) (6.89 Mb Excel sheet)

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) (2.28 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (2.02 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.46 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.61 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.44 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.37 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (2.05 Mb Excel sheet)  

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (2.03 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (2.03 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.31 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (HI11) (2.45 Mb Excel sheet)

The following tables contain local labour market indicators for all regions:

Local Indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (LI01) (246 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (LI02) (309.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (LI02.1) (115 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Travel-to-Work Areas (LI03) (178 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for NUTS3 areas (LI04) (143 Kb Excel sheet)

The following tables contain local claimant count data for all regions:

Claimant Count by Unitary and Local Authority (JSA01) (259.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Parliamentary Constituency (JSA02) (619.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (JSA02.1) (120.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Other tables:

Summary of Headline Indicators (S01) (72.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Sampling Variability and Revisions Summary (S02) (41 Kb Excel sheet)

Model Based Estimates of Unemployment (M01) (1.78 Mb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month’s Bulletin
    Revisions to Labour Force Survey estimates
    There have been revisions to all labour market statistics derived from the Labour Force Survey, including estimates of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity, resulting from the correction of an error in the previously published estimates. These revisions have affected the estimates for September to November 2012 and October to December 2012 only. 

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin
    There will be revisions to the seasonally adjusted claimant count estimates back to January 2010 following the latest annual review of the seasonal adjustment process.The denominators used to calculate national and regional claimant count rates will be routinely updated and revised taking on board revisions to Workforce Jobs estimates. Rates from January 2012 will be based on mid-2012 denominators.

    Jobs density figures in tables LI01 to LI04 will also be updated to show estimates for 2011.

    Revisions to Workforce Jobs estimates
    Estimates of workforce jobs for December 2012 were originally scheduled for publication in this month’s release. The publication of these estimates has been postponed until next month’s release due to operational difficulties which have resulted in a need for further quality assurance. In next month’s release a number of improvements will be made to the workforce jobs estimates. See Background Notes to the February 2013 edition of this Statistical Bulletin for details.

  3. 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 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) .

  4. 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
    • LFS Performance and Quality Monitoring Reports.

  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 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.

  6. Interpreting Labour Market Statistics
    There is an article on the website to help users interpret labour market statistics and highlight some common misunderstandings. A more detailed Guide to Labour Market Statistics is also available.

  7. Special Events
    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.

  8. 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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