Revisions have been made to the workforce jobs series released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) because of benchmarking to the latest estimates of the annual Business Register and Employment Survey, revisions to public sector employment and revisions to Short-Term Employment Surveys.
There were also revisions to the government-supported trainees (GST) from the devolved administrations and changes to seasonal parameters following a seasonal adjustment review.
These revisions to the workforce jobs series have mostly increased the estimates and the largest impact is in June 2021, with a rise of 181,000 (up 0.52%) jobs.
Workforce jobs (WFJ) is a quarterly measure of the number of jobs in the UK and is the preferred measure of the change in jobs by industry. It is a compound source that draws on a range of employer surveys, household surveys and administrative sources.
Each quarter, any revisions to the previous quarter's data are published. All quarterly figures are reviewed and revised annually in the December edition of the Vacancies and jobs in the UK bulletin.
WFJ is the sum of:
employee jobs (EJ) measured primarily by employer surveys, predominantly the Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES) and the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES)
self-employment jobs (SEJ) from the Labour Force Survey (LFS)
government-supported trainees (GST) and Her Majesty's Forces (HMF) from the devolved administrations, administrative sources and LFS
A variety of outputs by industry, region, sex and full-time or part-time status are produced for a range of publications and users.
The revisions to WFJ have mostly increased the estimates. The largest impact is in June 2021 with a rise of 181,000 (up 0.52%) jobs. More detail on the causes of the revisions and the revision periods is available in the Data sources and quality section.Back to table of contents
Benchmarking Great Britain employee jobs to the Business Register and Employment Survey
Benchmarking is an annual process to align the quarterly Great Britain employee jobs (EJ) series to the latest estimates from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). BRES is based on a sample of approximately 85,000 reporting units1, a much larger sample than the Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES) and is considered to produce more accurate and detailed estimates of the level of employment.
BRES estimates refer to September of a given year. The private sector element of the Great Britain EJ series has been benchmarked to the equivalent from BRES for the periods September 2019 and September 2020 (the latest period available).
Notes for: Benchmarking Great Britain employee jobs to the Business Register Employment Survey
- Reporting units hold the mailing address to which survey questionnaires are sent. The questionnaire can cover the enterprise, or parts of the enterprise identified by lists of local units.
Revisions to public sector employment
Workforce jobs (WFJ) makes use of our official public sector employment (PSE) estimates for Great Britain. These inputs are not benchmarked as they are the definitive measure of PSE. The data received in September 2021 have led to revisions back to June 2019 in WFJ. Further information is available in the Measuring the data section of the September 2021 PSE statistical bulletin.
Revisions to Short-Term Employment Surveys
The private sector employee jobs data come from sample surveys. Each quarter revisions to data supplied or late data are incorporated for the previous quarter in line with the revisions policy. Revisions or late data for earlier periods (June 2020 onwards) have now been included.
Revisions to government-supported trainees
Revised estimates of government-supported trainees from the devolved administrations caused revisions back to September 2019.
Seasonal adjustment is the process of identifying and removing the seasonal components from a series to leave the underlying trend and irregular components. The revised WFJ series has undergone a seasonal adjustment review, by our Time Series Analysis branch, causing revisions back to September 1981.Back to table of contents
Revision tables, workforce jobs by component, UK
Dataset | Released 14 December 2021
Estimates of revisions to the workforce jobs (WFJ) series released by the Office for National Statistics in the Vacancies and jobs statistical bulletin.
Workforce jobs is a quarterly measure of the number of jobs in the UK and is the preferred measure of the change in jobs by industry.
A job is an activity performed for an employer or customer by a worker in exchange for payment, usually in cash, or in kind, or both. The number of jobs is not the same as the number of people in employment. This is because a person can have more than one job. The number of jobs is the sum of employee jobs from employer surveys, self-employment jobs from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), those in Her Majesty's Forces and government-supported trainees. The number of people in employment is measured by the LFS; these estimates are available in our Employment in the UK release.
A more detailed glossary is available.Back to table of contents
This article explains, in detail, the revisions that have been made to the workforce jobs (WFJ) series as a result of:
benchmarking to the latest estimates from the annual Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES); these revisions will go back to December 2018
revisions to public sector employment (PSE) (the impact on WFJ begins in June 2019)
revisions to Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES) back to June 2020, because of updates in data supplied or late data
revised estimates of government-supported trainees from the devolved administrations caused revisions back to September 2019
changes to seasonal parameters following a seasonal adjustment review; these revisions will go back to September 1981
Workforce jobs sources
These are the four components of the WFJ series and the sources of their respective data.
Component 1: Employee jobs, Great Britain
Private sector source
Short-Term Employer Surveys (STES), benchmarked to the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES).
Public sector source
Public sector employment (PSE) from Quarterly Public Sector Employment Surveys (QPSES) and administrative sources from other government departments and devolved administrations.
Labour Force Survey (LFS), benchmarked to BRES and/or Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) farms data.
Air transport source
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), benchmarked to BRES.
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
Component 2: Self-employed jobs
Labour Force Survey (LFS), main and second jobs by industry and region.
Component 3: Government-supported trainees
Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Welsh Government (WG), split by industry using LFS.
Scottish Government (SG), split by industry using LFS.
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
Component 4: Her Majesty's Forces
Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA).Back to table of contents
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