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

Released: 16 May 2012 Download PDF

Key points

  • Employment rate highest in the South East and East of England (both 74.9 per cent) and lowest in the North East (66.6 per cent).
  • Unemployment rate highest in the North East (11.5 per cent) and lowest in the South East (6.2 per cent).
  • Inactivity rate highest in London (25.2 per cent) and lowest in the East of England (19.6 per cent).
  • Claimant Count rate highest in the North East (7.6 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 January to March 2012.
Claimant Count for April 2012.

Also in this release:
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period October 2010 to September 2011.
Workforce Jobs estimates for December 2011.

Overview of Regional Labour Market Statistics published on 16 May 2012

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to March 2012 compared to the three months to December 2011, showed a 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 Yorkshire and The Humber, which increased by 1.1 percentage points, the East Midlands which increased by 1.0 percentage points and the West Midlands which increased by 0.8 percentage points. For Yorkshire and The Humber and the West Midlands the increases were partially caused by low estimates 3 months ago with the underlying levels consistent with a much gentler pattern of increase. The pattern in the East Midlands is unclear with volatility in the series over the past few months.

Decreases were seen in the North West at 0.6 percentage points and London at 0.3 percentage points - these decreases are consistent with an ongoing pattern of slow decline in the employment rate in these regions. Whereas the 0.9 percentage point decrease in the South West was influenced by a high estimate 3 months ago with the underlying employment rate being relatively stable. Wales had a 0.3 percentage point decrease although the underlying pattern is relatively stable. London also shows a significant change on the year with the employment rate down 1.6 percentage points.

Regional figures for the unemployment rate are quite volatile, which needs to be allowed for when considering the pattern of change over time. There was an increase of 0.4 percentage points in the North West and 0.3 percentage points in the North East, continuing their recent increasing trend. A 0.4 percentage point increase was also seen in the South West.

Yorkshire and The Humber saw a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.9 percentage points and the West Midlands a decrease of 0.8 percentage points. However, both of these decreases are partially influenced by high estimates three months ago.

The number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) shows decreases for most regions of the UK between March 2012 and April 2012. Increases were seen in the North East and Northern Ireland. The rate was unchanged for the UK.

The claimant counts for the North East and Northern Ireland are both higher than they were at their recession peaks.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 70.5 per cent for the period January to March 2012.

The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the South East and East of England, both at 74.9 per cent, with the South West at 73.1 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 66.6 per cent, followed by London at 67.2 and the North West at 68.0 per cent.

The regions with the largest change in the employment rate on the previous period (October 2011 to December 2011) was Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 1.1 percentage point followed by the East Midlands with an increase of 1.0 percentage point and the South West with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.2 percentage points.

Employment Rates. January to March 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 London with a decrease of 1.6 percentage points. This was followed by the North East with an increase of 1.2 percentage points and the West Midlands with an increase of 0.9 percentage points.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 8.2 per cent for the period January to March 2012.

The region with the highest rate was the North East at 11.5 per cent followed by London at 10.1 per cent and the North West at 9.6 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 6.2 per cent, followed by the South West at 6.5 per cent and the East of England at 6.7 per cent.

The region with the largest increase in the unemployment rate on the previous period (October 2011 to December 2011) was the North West and South West, both at 0.4 percentage points followed by the North East which increased by 0.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate in Yorkshire and The Humber decreased by 0.9 percentage points, with decreases of 0.8 percentage points in the West Midlands and 0.4 percentage points in the East Midlands and Scotland. The UK rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points.

Unemployment Rates, January to March 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 West with an increase of 1.8 percentage points, Wales with an increase of 1.3 percentage point and the North East 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 nine of the eleven regions of Great Britain between September 2011 and December 2011 with a decrease in the remaining two regions. The largest increase of 35,000 was seen in the West Midlands, whilst the largest decrease of 19,000 was seen in Scotland.

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 3.3 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, December 2011, 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 April 2012 unchanged from March.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.6 per cent, unchanged on the previous month. The next highest rates were in Yorkshire and The Humber at 6.2 per cent and the West Midlands at 6.0 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, April 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Claimant Count Rates
Source: Work and Pensions

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

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 April 2012 the local authority with the lowest claimant count proportion in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 0.6 per cent. This was followed by Hart in Hampshire at 1.2 per cent. Four local authorities had a proportion of 1.3 per cent with a further twelve at 1.4 per cent. It was highest in Kingston-upon-Hull at 8.4 per cent, followed by Middlesbrough at 8.1 per cent and Hartlepool at 8.0 per cent. A further 7 local authorities had a proportion of 7.0 per cent or more.

Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count Interactive Map
Source: Work and Pensions

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.

Index of Tables

LFS headline indicators (Employment, unemployment and inactivity):

Headline Indicators for All Regions (Tables 1) (2.61 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 (Tables 1 to 11) (2.06 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (Tables 1 to 11) (1.82 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (Tables 1 to 11) (2.25 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (Tables 1 to 11) (2.4 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (Tables 1 to 11) (2.21 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (Tables 1 to 11) (2.15 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (Tables 1 to 11) (1.83 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South East (Tables 1 to 11) (1.82 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (Tables 1 to 11) (1.82 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (Tables 1 to 11) (2.08 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (Tables 1 to 11) (2.22 Mb Excel sheet)

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

Local indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (Table 12) (258 Kb Excel sheet)

Local indicators for Parliamentary Constituencies (Table 13) (314 Kb Excel sheet)

Local indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (Table 13(2)) (114.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local indicators for Travel-to-Work Areas (Table 14) (175.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local indicators for NUTS3 areas (Table 15) (143.5 Kb Excel sheet)

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

Claimant Count by Unitary and Local Authority (Table 16) (267.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Parliamentary Constituency (Table 17) (617.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (Table 17(2)) (120 Kb Excel sheet)

Other tables

Summary of headline indicators (73 Kb Excel sheet)

Sampling Variability and Revisions Summary (41.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month's Bulletin

    There are no significant changes in this month's bulletin.

  2. Next Month's Bulletin

    There are no significant changes planned for next month's bulletin.

  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 (41.5 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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
Jonathan Knight +44 (0)1633 455253 ONS - Regional and Local Data/ Claimant Count jonathan.knight@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Nick Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 ONS - Regional and National Labour Force Survey nicholas.palmer@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Emily Carless +44 (0)1633 455717 ONS - 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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