1. Main points
Revisions have been made to the workforce jobs series as a result 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 2022, with a rise of 292,000 (up 0.82%).
2. Overview of revisions to workforce 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. 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 His 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.
Figure 1: Previously published versus revised UK seasonally adjusted workforce jobs
March 1981 to June 2022
Source: Office for National Statistics
Download this chart Figure 1: Previously published versus revised UK seasonally adjusted workforce jobsImage .csv .xls
The revisions to WFJ have mostly increased the estimates. The largest impact is in June 2022 with a rise of 292,000 (up 0.82%). More detail on the causes of the revisions and the revisions periods is available in Section 6: Data sources and qualityBack to table of contents
3. Revisions by component
Benchmarking employee jobs in Great Britain to the Business Register and Employment Survey
Benchmarking is an annual process to align the quarterly employee jobs (EJ) in Great Britain series to the latest estimates from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). BRES is based on a sample of approximately 86,000 reporting units for businesses/organisations, a much larger sample than the Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES), and so generally 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 2020 and September 2021 (the latest period available).
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 up to September 2022 have led to revisions back to March 2009. Further information is available in Section 3, Measuring the data, of our Public sector employment, UK: September 2022 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 2021 onwards) have now been included.
Revisions to government-supported trainees
Revised estimates of Government Supported Trainees taken on from the devolved administrations caused revisions back to March 1996.
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
4. Workforce jobs revisions data
Revision tables, workforce jobs by component, UK
Dataset | Released 13 December 2022
Estimates of revisions to workforce jobs by component.
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, as explained in our guide to labour market statistics. 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 HM 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 bulletin.
A more detailed glossary is available.Back to table of contents
6. Data sources and quality
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 2019
revisions to public sector employment (PSE) (impact on WFJ begins in March 2009)
revisions to Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES) from June 2021, because of updates in data supplied or late data
revised estimates of government-supported trainees taken on from the devolved administrations caused revisions back to September 2014
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-employment jobs
Labour Force Survey (LFS) - main and second jobs by industry by 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: His Majesty's Forces
Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA).Back to table of contents
8. Cite this statistical bulletin
Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 13 December 2022, ONS website, article, Revisions to workforce jobs, UK: December 2022
Contact details for this Article
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