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

Released: 14 March 2012 Download PDF

Key points

  • Employment rate highest in the East of England (74.7 per cent) and lowest in the North East (66.5 per cent).
  • Unemployment rate highest in the North East (10.8 per cent) and lowest in the South West (6.3 per cent).
  • Inactivity rate highest in the North East (25.3 per cent) and lowest in the East of England (19.7 per cent).
  • Claimant Count rate highest in the North East (7.4 per cent) and lowest in the South East (3.3 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 is available separately.

Updated this month
Labour Force Survey estimates for the period November 2011 to January 2012.
Claimant Count for February 2012.
Workforce Jobs estimates for December 2011.

Also in this release
Annual Population Survey estimates for the period July 2010 to June 2011.

Overview of regional labour market statistics published on 14 March 2012

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to January 2012 showed a few large movements for the regions of the UK, with most movements reflecting the normal sampling volatility of the survey estimates.

The only notable increase was for the North East, which increased by 1.4 percentage points, however, this increase was partially caused by a low estimate three months ago. The underlying pattern is consistent with a much gentler pattern of increase. A similar pattern was also seen in the West Midlands which increased by 0.9 percentage points.

The largest decreases were in the North West at 0.8 percentage points, the East Midlands at 0.7 percentage points and London at 0.6 percentage points. These decreases are consistent with an ongoing pattern of slow decline in the employment rate in these regions.

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 0.6 percentage points in the North West continuing its recent trend. Smaller increases were seen in five other regions. While partially due to recent volatility in these estimates, are part of an underlying pattern suggesting a more gradual rate of increase.

The North East saw a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.9 percentage points. However, there has been a lot of volatility in this series recently with the underlying pattern unclear.

The number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) shows increases for most regions of the UK between January 2012 and February 2012. A small decrease was seen in the West Midlands. The rate was unchanged for the UK. The North East, North West and the East Midlands showed an increase in the rate of 0.1 percentage point.
 
The claimant counts for the North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, London, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all higher than they were at their recession peaks.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 70.3 per cent for the period November 2011 to January 2012.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the East of England, at 74.7 per cent, followed by the South East at 74.3 per cent and the South West at 73.5 per cent.

The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 66.5 per cent, followed by London at 67.4 and Yorkshire and The Humber at 68.1 per cent.

The regions with the largest change in the employment rate on the previous period (August 2011 to October 2011) was the North East an increase of 1.4 percentage points followed by the West Midlands with an increase of 0.9 percentage points and the North West with a decrease of 0.8 percentage points. The UK rate was unchanged.

Over the year the region with the largest change in the employment rate was London with a decrease of 1.2 percentage points. This was followed by the North West a decrease of 1.1 percentage points.

Employment Rates, November 2011 to January 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

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

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Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 8.4 per cent for the period November 2011 to January 2012.

The region with the highest rate was the North East at 10.8 per cent followed by London at 10.2 per cent and Yorkshire and The Humber at 9.8 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 6.3 per cent, followed by the South East at 6.5 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 (August 2011 to October 2011) was the North West at 0.6 percentage points followed by Yorkshire and The Humber, the East Midlands, London and the South East which all increased by 0.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate in the North East decreased by 0.9 percentage points, with decreases also seen in the West Midlands,South West, East of England and Wales. The UK rate increased by 0.1 percentage point.

Over the year the regions with the largest changes in the unemployment rate were the North West with an increase of 1.6 percentage points, and London with an increase of 0.8 percentage points and the West Midlands with a decrease of 0.8 percentage points.

 

Unemployment Rates, November 2011 to January 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

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

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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 5.0 per cent in February 2012 unchanged from January.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.4 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 6.2 per cent.

The region with the lowest rate was the South East at 3.3 per cent. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 3.4 per cent and the East of England at 4.0 per cent.

Claimant Count Rates, February 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Claimant Count Rates
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

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Local authority labour market indicators

For the period July 2010 to June 2011 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was the Shetland Islands at 85.1 per cent. The next highest was East Northamptonshire at 82.8 per cent and Wychavon in Worcestershire at 82.7 per cent. The lowest rates were the City of London at 40.3 per cent, followed by the London borough of Newham at 54.5 per cent and Nottingham at 55.5 per cent.

For the period July 2010 to June 2011 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Middlesbrough at 15.1 per cent. The next highest was the London borough of Newham at 14.7 per cent and Kingston upon Hull at 14.2 per cent. The lowest rates were in South Lakeland in Cumbria and the Shetland Islands, both at 3.5 per cent, followed by Ribble Valley at 3.6 per cent.

In February 2012 the local authority with the lowest claimant count proportion in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 1.0 per cent. This was followed by the City of London and Hart in Hampshire, both at 1.3 per cent. Four local authorities had a proportion of 1.4 per cent. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.6 per cent, followed by Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton, both at 8.1 per cent. A further 12 local authorities had a proportion of 7.0 per cent or more.
 

Claimant Count Map

Claimant Count Interactive Map
Source: Department for 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.

In 2009 the highest and lowest jobs densities in Great Britain were both in London. The highest was the City of London at 38.05 and the lowest was Lewisham at 0.40. Westminster (3.35), Camden (1.77) and Islington (1.42), all in London were the next highest jobs densities. The highest jobs densities outside London were Watford and Aberdeen City both at 1.27. After Lewisham, the lowest jobs density was East Renfrewshire in Scotland at 0.41, followed by East Dunbartonshire and Barking and Dagenham both at 0.42.

Index of tables

LFS headline indicators (Employment, unemployment and inactivity): 

Headline Indicators for All Regions (Tables 1) (2.59 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) (1.97 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (Tables 1 to 11 (1.72 Mb Excel sheet) )

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (Tables 1 to 11) (2.14 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (Tables 1 to 11) (2.31 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (Tables 1 to 11) (2.1 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (Tables 1 to 11) (2.31 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (Tables 1 to 11) (1.74 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South East (Tables 1 to 11) (1.72 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (Tables 1 to 11) (1.71 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (Tables 1 to 11) (1.99 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (Tables 1 to 11) (2.12 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 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)  

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

    Workforce Jobs: In this month's Statistical Bulletin there have been revisions to estimates of workforce jobs. The most significant revisions have been caused by benchmarking to the latest estimates from the annual Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). The revisions resulting from the benchmarking to BRES go back to 2006. There are further revisions to workforce jobs estimates going back to 1978 resulting from:

    • an improved methodology for estimating the industrial breakdown of jobs according to the latest internationally agreed classification (Standard Industrial Classification 2007),

    • a review of the seasonal adjustment process,

    • the implementation of a number of methodological improvements, for example using ONS's Short-Term Employment Surveys for estimates of jobs in the construction sector in place of the Labour Force Survey.

    In addition, workforce Jobs estimates by region and industry have been revised to take account of a new methodology designed to reduce the volatility of estimates at this has lead to sizable revisions in some regions at an industry and total level.

  2. Next Month's Bulletin

    There will be revisions to the seasonally adjusted claimant count estimates back to January 2009 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 back to 2006 taking on board revisions to Workforce Jobs estimates. Rates from January 2011 will be based on mid-2011 denominators.

  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 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 Varibility

    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, 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. Publication Policy

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.

    National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

    © Crown Copyright 2012

    You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. For further information, write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

  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

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Jonathan Knight +44 (0)1633 455253 Regional and local data subnational.labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Nick Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 Regional and national Labour Force Survey subnational.labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Jonathan Knight +44 (0)1633 455253 Claimant Count subnational.labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
David Matthews +44 (0)1633 456756 Workforce Jobs subnational.labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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