Employees in the UK by region: 2018

The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is the official source of employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry. Figures are presented mainly for regions, although some detail for local authority districts is also provided.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

This is an accredited national statistic.

Contact:
Email Mark Williams

Release date:
26 September 2019

Next release:
30 September 2020

1. Other pages in this release

Commentary on topics covered in the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is split between three separate bulletins in 2019. This is part of our ongoing work to improve bulletins. Other commentary from the latest BRES data can be found on the following pages:

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2. Main points

  • Between 2017 and 2018, the largest increase in employees by region has been in the South East (up 43,700, or 1.1%), closely followed by Scotland (up 37,200, or 1.5%).

  • In percentage terms, the strongest growth was in Wales (up 2.4%, or 29,700).

  • Between 2017 and 2018, only the North East (down 8,900, or 0.8%) and the West Midlands (down 18,200, or 0.7%) saw decreases in employees.

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3. Analysis of regional changes in employee numbers

About the Business Register and Employment Survey

The data in this bulletin come from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). Since these estimates are based on a sample of businesses, they can be affected by sampling variability. In particular, the quality of the estimates may deteriorate for smaller geographies and this should be taken into account when making inferences about the figures.

Employees by region

Between 2017 and 2018, there were percentage increases in 10 of the 12 regions. The largest percentage increases were in Wales (up 29,700, or 2.4%), Northern Ireland (up 15,000, or 2.0%) and Scotland (up 37,200, or 1.5%).

Only the North East (down 8,900, or 0.8%) and the West Midlands (down 18,200, or 0.7%) saw decreases in employees.

Figure 2 is an interactive tool that shows the percentage change in the estimated number of employees at local authority district (LAD) level between 2017 and 2018. You can either enter the name of a LAD in which you are interested or scroll around the map. Figures for LADs in Northern Ireland do not include farms agricultural data.

Figure 2: Change in employee estimates by local authority district, 2017 to 2018

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Data download

Source: Office for National Statistics – Business Register and Employment Survey

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4. Regional focus

An analysis of selected regions with large changes in employee estimates between 2017 and 2018 is shown in the following analysis.

Wales

Between 2017 and 2018, the estimated number of employees in Wales increased by 2.4%, or 29,700. This was the largest percentage increase in employees of all the regions.

Of the 22 local authorities in Wales, 19 saw an increase in estimated employees between 2017 and 2018, while three saw a decrease. The largest increases were in the Isle of Anglesey, Newport and Pembrokeshire.

North East of England

Between 2017 and 2018, the estimated number of employees in the North East of England decreased by 0.8%, or 8,900. This was the largest percentage decrease in employees of all the regions.

Of the 12 local authority districts in the North East, all except North Tyneside and Gateshead saw a decrease in estimated employees between 2017 and 2018.

Scotland

In 2018, over a third of Scotland’s employees worked in three local authority districts – Glasgow City (16.4%), City of Edinburgh (13.8%), and Aberdeen City (6.9%).

Between 2017 and 2018, the estimated number of employees in Scotland increased by 1.5%, or 37,200. This was the third largest percentage increase in employees of all the regions.

This growth was driven by the City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City, which together accounted for 76.5% of the estimated increase in Scotland’s employees. City of Edinburgh increased by 6.0% (or 19,600) and Glasgow City increased by 2.2% (or 8,800).

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5. Business Register and Employment Survey data

Broad Industry Group (SIC) - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 1
Dataset | Released on 26 September 2019
Annual employee and employment estimates for Great Britain and UK split by Broad Industry Group (SIC2007). Results given by full-time or part-time and public or private splits

Industry (2, 3 and 5 - digit SIC) - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 2
Dataset | Released on 26 September 2019
Annual employee and employment estimates for Great Britain and UK split by 2, 3 and 5-digit (SIC2007). Results given by full-time or part-time and public or private splits.

Region - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 3
Dataset | Released on 26 September 2019
Annual employee and employment estimates for Great Britain and UK split by Region. Results given by full-time or part-time and public or private splits.

Region by broad industry group (SIC) - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 4
Dataset | Released on 26 September 2019
Annual employee and employment estimates for the UK split by Region and Broad Industry Group (SIC2007). Results given by full-time or part-time and public or private splits.

Local Authority county - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 5
Dataset | Released on 26 September 2019
Annual employee and employment estimates for the UK split by Local Authority County. Results given by full-time or part-time and public or private splits.

Local Authority district - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 6
Dataset | Released on 26 September 2019
Annual employee and employment estimates for the UK split by Local Authority District. Results given by full-time or part-time and public or private splits.

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6. Glossary

Employee

An employee is defined as anyone aged 16 years or over who is paid directly from the payroll, in return for carrying out a full-time or part-time job or being on a training scheme.

Employment

Employment includes employees plus the number of working owners who receive drawings or a share of the profits.

Full-time and part-time

Full-time is defined as working more than 30 hours per week and part-time is defined as working 30 hours or less per week.

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7. Measuring the data

All estimates for 2018 are provisional and relate to the reference date 14 September 2018. Data from the 2017 survey have been subject to small revisions since the provisional estimates were published on 27 September 2018. For the charts in this bulletin, the following notes apply.

  1. All charts show data for “total employees” rather than ‘”total employment”. Employees is the more robust of the two measures and is recommended for use in analysis.

  2. Analysis of regional changes are shown at the Local Authority District level (Figures 2 to 4).

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8. Strengths and limitations

The strengths and limitations of the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information report.

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