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

Released: 17 October 2012 Download PDF

Key points

  • Employment rate highest in the East of England and the South West (74.6 per cent) and lowest in the North East (67.9 per cent).
  • Unemployment rate highest in the North East (9.9 per cent) and lowest in the South West (5.8 per cent).
  • Inactivity rate highest in the North East (24.6 per cent) and lowest in the East of England (19.9 per cent).
  • Claimant Count rate highest in the North East (7.7 per cent) and lowest in the South East (3.0 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 June to August 2012.

Claimant Count for September 2012.

Annual Population Survey estimates for the period July 2011 to June 2012.

Also in this release

Workforce Jobs estimates for June 2012.

Overview of regional labour market statistics published on 17 October 2012

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to August 2012 compared to the 3 months to May 2012, showed a number of large increases for the regions of the UK, with the remaining movements reflecting the normal sampling volatility of the survey estimates.

The largest increase was for Wales, which increased 1.6 percentage points.  There were also notable increases for London, the North East, the South West, the North West, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and The Humber.  Although the size of some of these increases, particularly for Wales and the North East, appear to be partially driven by sampling variability, the underlying pattern for all of these regions is an increasing trend in the employment rate.

The only region of the UK that is showing a strong decrease in the employment rate is Northern Ireland which decreased by 0.8 percentage points.

Employment rates remain higher in the East of England, South West and South East than the rest of the UK at 74.6 per cent, 74.6 per cent and 74.4 per cent respectively.

The employment levels for London, at 3.891 million, and Wales, at 1.377 million, are both record highs since current regional figures started in 1992. However, due to increasing population levels, the employment rates are still below the highest on record.

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 were in the North West, at 1.1 percentage points and the North East at 0.9 percentage points.  Both of these decreases appear to be part of a pattern of decreasing unemployment rates in those regions.

The only region of the UK that is showing a strong increase in the unemployment rate is Northern Ireland which increased by 1.2 percentage points.

The unemployment rate for the North East, at 9.9 per cent, continues to be the highest in the UK, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber, with an unemployment rate of 9.3 per cent.  This is the first period since the three months ending in May 2011 that no region has an estimated unemployment rate above 10 per cent.

Changes in the conditions for claiming Lone Parent Income Support are likely to have affected the Claimant Count across the UK, resulting in more females entering the count that would have been the case without the changes. This has resulted in a decrease in the count for men, but an increase in the count for women. The disparity between the count for men and women is generally repeated across the country. The net effect has generally been small decreases or little change in the regional counts, however, London has shown a larger increase in the count this month.

Employment

The employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 for the UK was 71.3 per cent for the period June to August 2012.

The regions with the highest rate in Great Britain were the East of England and the South West at 74.6 per cent, followed by the South East at 74.4 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the North East at 67.9 per cent, followed by the West Midlands at 69.3 per cent and Yorkshire and The Humber at 69.5 per cent.

The regions with the largest increase in the employment rate on the previous period (March to May 2012) was Wales with an increase of 1.6 percentage points followed by London with an increase of 1.4 percentage points and  the North East with an increase of 1.2 percentage points.  The South East had the largest decrease of 0.4 percentage points. The UK rate increased by 0.5 percentage points.

Emploment Rates, June to August 2012, 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 Wales and the North East both with an increase of 2.6 percentage points. This was followed by London with an increase of 1.9 percentage points. The East Midlands and the South East were the only regions to see a decrease at 0.1 percentage points.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 7.9 per cent for the period June to August 2012.

The region with the highest rate was the North East at 9.9 per cent followed by Yorkshire and The Humber at 9.3 per cent and London at 8.9 per cent. The region with the lowest rate was the South West at 5.8 per cent, followed by the South East at 6.3 per cent and the East of England at 6.6 per cent.

The region with the largest decrease in the unemployment rate on the previous period (March to May 2012) was the North West at 1.1 percentage points followed by the North East which decreased by 0.9 percentage points. The unemployment rate in Scotland increased by 0.2 percentage points followed by West Midlands which increased by 0.1 percentage points.  The UK rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points.

Unemployment Rates, June to August 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 East with a decrease of 1.4 percentage points, London with a decrease of 1.2 percentage points and Wales with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points.

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

Workforce Jobs

Workforce Jobs increased in 5 of the 11 regions of Great Britain between March 2012 and June 2012 with a decrease in 5 of the remaining 6 regions – East of England was unchanged.  The largest increase of 67,000 was in North West, whilst the largest decrease of 28,000 was in the North East.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of jobs in the production sector at 13.7 per cent whilst London had the lowest proportion at 3.2 per cent.  For the service sector the situation is reversed with London having the highest proportion at 91.6 per cent and the East Midlands the lowest at 77.4 per cent.

Workforce Jobs by broad industry group, June 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 4.8 per cent in September 2012 unchanged from August, although, the level was down 4,000.

The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 7.7 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point from 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 3.0 per cent. The next lowest rates were seen in the South West at 3.2 per cent and the East of England at 3.9 per cent.

Claimant Count Rates, September 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Claimant Count Rates
Source: Work and Pensions

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Changes in the conditions for claiming Lone Parent Income Support are likely to have affected the Claimant Count across the UK, resulting in more females entering the count that would have been the case without the changes.  The disparity between the count for men and women is generally repeated across the country.

The impact has been that for most regions of the UK there have been increases or small decreases in the Claimant Count for women, with larger decreases or smaller increases in the Claimant Count for men.  The net effect has generally been small decreases or little change, where the male decrease has outweighed any increase in the female count.

The exception to this disparity is in Northern Ireland where there has been a small increase in the count for men and no change in the count for women.

In London, although the disparity between the count for men and women is consistent with the rest of the UK, this has resulted in increases in the counts for men and women of 700 and 1,200 respectively.  This increase of 1,900 in the count for London follows stronger decreases for London in July and August than other regions of the UK.

Changes on Month in Claimant Count Levels, by Sex, September 2012, Seasonally Adjusted

Changes in Claimant Count Levels, September 2012
Source: Work and Pensions

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Local Authority Labour Market Indicators

For the period July 2011 to June 2012 the highest employment rate in Great Britain was Suffolk Coastal at 85.8 per cent. The next highest was Ribble Valley in Lancashire at 84.7 per cent and Adur in West Sussex at 84.4 per cent. The lowest rates were Fenland at 55.8 per cent, followed by Birmingham at 57.0 per cent and the London Borough of Newham at 57.2 per cent.

For the period July 2011 to June 2012 the highest unemployment rate in Great Britain was Hartlepool at 16.4 per cent. The next highest was Kingston upon Hull at 15.8 per cent and Middlesbrough at 15.5 per cent. The lowest rate was in the Shetland Islands at 3.3 per cent followed by South Lakeland and Eden both in Cumbria at 3.4 per cent and Eden at 3.5 per cent respectively.

In September 2012 the local authority with the lowest claimant count proportion in Great Britain was the Isles of Scilly at 0.4 per cent. This was followed by the City of London at 1.1 per cent. Eight local authorities had a proportion of 1.2 per cent. It was highest in Kingston upon Hull at 8.3 per cent and followed by Middlesbrough at 8.1 per cent and Wolverhampton at 8.0 per cent. A further five local authorities had a proportion of 7.0 per cent or more.

Percentage aged 16 to 64 claiming JSA

Proportion aged 16 to 64 receiving JSA

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  • PNG
    (52.5 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) (2.66 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 (HI01) (2.25 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for North West (HI02) (2 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Yorkshire and The Humber (HI03) (2.43 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East Midlands (HI04) (2.58 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for West Midlands (HI05) (2.4 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for East of England (HI06) (2.35 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for London (HI07) (2.01 Mb Excel sheet)  

Headline Indicators for South East (HI08) (2 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for South West (HI09) (2 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Wales (HI10) (2.3 Mb Excel sheet)

Headline Indicators for Scotland (HI11) (2.41 Mb Excel sheet)

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

Local Indicators for Unitary and Local Authorities (LI01) (253 Kb Excel sheet)

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

Local Indicators for Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (LI02.1) (114.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Local Indicators for Travel-to-Work Areas (LI03) (173.5 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) (271.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Parliamentary Constituency (JSA02) (617.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Claimant Count by Constituencies of the Scottish Parliament (JSA02.1) (120 Kb Excel sheet)

Other tables:

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

Sampling Variability and Revisions Summary (S02) (41.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Model Based Estimates of Unemployment (M01) (1.81 Mb Excel sheet)

Background notes

  1. This Month’s Bulletin

    Local labour marker indicators: Tables 12 to 15, the local labour market indicators tables, have been updated with employment and economic inactivity data from the July 2011 to June 2012 Annual Population Survey; unemployment from the APS (tables 13 to 15); model based estimates of unemployment for local authorities (table 12); and claimant count levels and proportions for July 2011 to June 2012. Annual Population Survey (APS) estimates for April 2011 to March 2012 in tables 2, 2(2), 3, 6, 10 and 11 of HI01 to HI11 have been updated to reflect the population estimates published by ONS in June 2011.

  2. Next Month’s Bulletin

    ONS expects to update the denominators used for Local and Unitary Authorities in tables LI01 and JSA01 to reflect the latest population estimates in next month's bulletin. The denominators for the UK and regions in tables LI01-LI04 and JSA01-JSA02 will also be updated.  Updated denominators in England and Wales will be based on 2011 Census estimates, whereas estimates for Scotland and Northern Ireland will be based on 2011 mid-year population estimates consistent with the 2001 Census. The UK population will be based on a combination of these sources.

    It is expected that 2011 Census estimates for Scotland and Northern Ireland will be released in 2013 and will be incorporated into this release as soon as practical after their release.

  3. Special Events

    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.

  4. The Olympics took place from 27 July to 12 August 2012 (with a few events starting on 25 July), and the Paralympics from 29 August to 9 September. For most economic statistics, any direct effects of the Olympics will be mainly seen in the August estimates. A few series (such as on international travel and tourism, employment) may have been affected in July, and these estimates have already been published. Wider effects, for example if the presence of the Olympics has influenced the number of non-Olympics tourist visits, may of course affect any of the summer months.

    This commentary is intended to help users to interpret the statistics in the light of events. As explained in ONS’s Special Events policy, it is not possible to make an estimate of the effect of the Olympics and Paralympics on particular series only on the basis of information collected in those series. More details of how certain series are affected are in an Information Note, and an article explaining how various elements are reflected in the National Accounts was published in July 2012.

  5. 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 (i.e. 60 observations for a monthly series, 20 for a quarterly series). 

  6. Further information on the Quality of and Methods for Work Force Jobs estimates can be found in Summary Quality Report. (295.4 Kb Pdf)

  7. 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.

  8. Consultation on the production and dissemination of Claimant Count statistics following the introduction of Universal Credit

    The claimant count will be affected by the planned introduction of Universal Credit in October 2013. ONS has launched a consultation on the measurement of the Claimant Count following the introduction of Universal Credit. The consultation runs until 23 November 2012.

  9. 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 nick.palmer@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Emily Carless +44 (0)1633 455839 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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