Other commentary from the latest labour market data can be found on the following pages:
For the three months ending July 2023, the highest employment rate estimate in the UK was for the South East (79.6%) and the lowest was for Northern Ireland (71.1%).
The North East saw the largest increase in the employment rate compared with the same period last year, increasing by 2.7 percentage points, with the East of England seeing the largest decrease of 1.4 percentage points.
For the three months ending July 2023, the highest unemployment rate estimate in the UK was for the North West (5.3%) and the lowest was for Northern Ireland (2.7%).
The North West had the largest increase in the unemployment rate compared with the same period last year, increasing by 1.8 percentage points, with Yorkshire and The Humber seeing the largest decrease of 1.5 percentage points.
For the three months ending July 2023, the highest economic inactivity rate estimate in the UK was for Northern Ireland (26.9%) and the lowest was for the South East (17.1%).
London saw the largest increase in the economic inactivity rate compared with the same period last year, up 1.0 percentage point, with the North East seeing the largest decrease of 3.4 percentage points.
Between March and June 2023, workforce jobs decreased in 9 out of 12 regions of the UK, with London seeing the largest decrease of 72,000, while the South East increased by 71,000, Scotland by 35,000 and the North East by 12,000; London had the highest proportion of service-based jobs (92.8%), while the East Midlands had the highest proportion of production sector jobs (12.5%).
Comparing August 2023 with the same period last year, changes in payrolled employees ranged from a 1.7% increase in London to a 1.1% increase in Yorkshire and The Humber.
aged 16 to
rate (%) aged
16 years and
over [Note 2]
aged 16 to
Download this table Table 1: Summary of latest headline estimates, and quarterly changes, for regions of the UK, seasonally adjusted, May to July 2023 [Notes 4 and 5].xls .csv
aged 16 to
rate (%) aged
16 years and
over [Note 2]
aged 16 to
Download this table Table 2: Summary of latest headline estimates, and annual changes, for regions of the UK, seasonally adjusted, May to July 2023 [Notes 4 and 5].xls .csv
Headline Labour Force Survey indicators for all regions
Dataset HI00 | Released 12 September 2023
Labour market indicators for UK constituent countries and English regions, including employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, workers' hours, jobs and Claimant Count, published monthly.
Claimant Count by unitary and local authority (experimental)
Dataset CC01 | Released 12 September 2023
Claimant Count by sex for local and unitary authorities, counties and regions in the UK, published monthly. Experimental Statistics.
Regional labour market summary
Dataset S01 | Released 12 September 2023
Labour market indicators for UK countries and regions, including employment, unemployment and economic inactivity, rolling three-monthly figures published monthly, seasonally adjusted. Labour Force Survey.
Local indicators for counties and local and unitary authorities
Dataset LI01 | Released 15 August 2023
Labour market indicators for local authorities, unitary authorities, counties and regions in Great Britain for a 12-month period, published quarterly.
Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted
Dataset | Released 12 September 2023
Earnings and employment statistics from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI), UK, NUTS 1, 2 and 3 areas and local authorities, monthly, seasonally adjusted. Experimental Statistics.
All regional labour market datasets used in this bulletin are available on the Related data page.
Actual and usual hours worked
Statistics for usual hours worked measure how many hours people usually work per week. Compared with actual hours worked, they are not affected by absences and so can provide a better measure of normal working patterns. For example, a person who usually works 37 hours a week but who was on holiday for a week would be recorded as working zero actual hours for that week, while usual hours would be recorded as 37 hours.
People not in the labour force (also known as economically inactive) are not in employment, but do not meet the internationally accepted definition of unemployment because they have not been seeking work within the last four weeks, or they are unable to start work in the next two weeks. The economic inactivity rate is the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 years who are not in the labour force.
Employment measures the number of people in paid work or who had a job that they were temporarily away from (for example, because they were on holiday or off sick). This differs from the number of jobs because some people have more than one job. The employment rate is the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 years who are in employment. A more detailed explanation is available in our Guide to labour market statistics.
Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. The unemployment rate is not the proportion of the total population who are unemployed. It is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who are unemployed.
Local labour market indicators
Local labour market indicators cover employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and jobs density for subregional geographical areas such as local and unitary authorities, counties and regions in the UK for the most recent 12-month period available of the Annual Population Survey (APS). The jobs density of an area is the number of jobs per head, of resident population, aged 16 to 64 years.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI)
These data come from HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) system. They cover the whole population rather than a sample of people or companies, and they will allow for more detailed estimates of the population. The release is classed as experimental statistics because the methodologies used to produce the statistics are still in their development phase. As a result, the series are subject to revisions.
PAYE is the system employers and pension providers use to take Income Tax and National Insurance contributions before they pay wages or pensions to employees and pensioners. This publication relates to employees only and not pensioners.
For more terms relating to the labour market, a more detailed glossary is available.Back to table of contents
This bulletin relies on data collected from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), which is the largest household survey in the UK, and the Annual Population Survey (APS) derived from it.
Quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations and appropriate uses is available in ourLabour Force Survey (LFS) Quality and Methodology Information (QMI). Our LFS performance and quality monitoring reports provide data on response rates and quality-related issues.
Data for Northern Ireland are available in full in the Northern Ireland Labour Market Report on the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) website. You can view local area statistics on the Nomis website.
Our Comparison of labour market data sources methodology, last revised on 27 April 2022, compares our labour market data sources and discusses some of the main differences.
The population totals used for the latest LFS estimates use projected growth rates from Real Time Information (RTI) data for EU and non-EU populations based on 2021 patterns. The total population used for the LFS therefore does not take into account any changes in migration, birth rates, death rates, and so on, since June 2021. This means that levels estimates may be under or over-estimating the true values and should be used with caution.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) increased the wave 1 Labour Force Survey (LFS) issued sample size to mitigate the drop in response rates. In July 2023, it reverted to pre-pandemic wave 1 LFS sample sizes.
Because of ongoing challenges in maintaining response rates, the LFS is experiencing higher sampling variability than in the past, especially for estimates for smaller subgroups of the population. As a result, estimates especially for smaller groups should be used with caution.
To improve response rates, we are bringing in improvements to the Labour Force Survey through transformation. We are also reweighting the existing Labour Force Survey to take account of more up-to-date population information. More details of the latter will be published on 3 October 2023.
Further information can be found in our quarterly Labour Force Survey performance and quality monitoring reports and in our blog on the ongoing data collection challenges with the Labour Force Survey published in August 2023.
Making our published spreadsheets accessible
Following the Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets, we will be amending our published tables over the coming months to improve usability, accessibility and machine readability of our published statistics. To help users change to the new formats, we will be publishing sample versions of a selection of our tables, and where practical, initially publish the tables in both the new and current formats. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at email@example.com.
Reweighting of the Labour Force Survey
We are planning to reweight the Labour Force Survey (LFS) published data using more up-to-date population estimates, drawing on the latest census data alongside our labour market release in October 2023. We intend to publish indicative estimates of the reweighted LFS in an article on 3rd October 2023.Back to table of contents
The estimates presented in this bulletin contain uncertainty, as defined in our article, Uncertainty and how we measure for it in our surveys. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) gathers information from a sample of households across the UK. The sample is designed to be as accurate as possible, given practical limitations. This can have an impact on how changes in the estimates should be interpreted, especially for short-term comparisons.
As the number of people in the sample gets smaller, the variability of the estimates that we can make from that sample gets larger. Estimates for small groups, which are based on small subsets of the sample, are less reliable and tend to be more volatile than for larger aggregated groups.
In general, changes in the numbers (and especially the rates) reported between three-month periods are small and are not usually greater than the level that is explained by sampling variability. For a fuller picture, short-term movements in reported rates should be considered alongside longer-term patterns in the series and corresponding movements in other sources.
Reliability of the main indicators in this bulletin can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions. These measures are available in our Regional sampling variability and revisions summary dataset.
The data in this bulletin follow internationally accepted definitions specified by the International Labour Organization (ILO). This ensures that the estimates for the UK are comparable with those for other countries. For more information, the Resolution concerning statistics of work, employment and labour underutilization publication is available to download from the ILO website.
Our annual Reconciliation of estimates of jobs, UK article compares the latest Workforce Jobs series estimates with the equivalent estimates of jobs from the LFS. It is usually published following the benchmarking of Workforce Jobs.
Reliability of the main indicators in this bulletin can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions. These measures are available in our Regional sampling variability and revisions summary dataset.Back to table of contents
Office for National Statistics (ONS), published 12 September 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Labour market in the regions of the UK: September 2023
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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