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Revisions to workforce jobs – June 2016

This note explains the revisions to the workforce jobs (WFJ) series, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 15 June 2016.

From 1 January 2016 the coverage of the ONS Standard Business Survey Population was extended to include a population of solely Pay As You Earn (PAYE) based businesses. Further details on this change can be found on the ONS website.

This improvement in coverage is estimated to have increased the business survey population by around 100,000 businesses, with a total of around 300,000 employment between December 2015 and January 2016. The increase in business population has led to an increase in the estimate of the number of jobs.

To maintain a comparable back series with the data from January 2016 onwards, the employee jobs (EJ) component of the WFJ back series has been revised. These revisions are based on the proportion of employment these PAYE-only units make up of the total population.

Revisions to non seasonally adjusted data

From the start of the time series the smallest revision to EJ is 0.75%; the largest is 1.03% (see Figure 1). This is around a 300,000 increase in the number of jobs in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015, the most recent period to be revised.

When split by industrial section the revisions are concentrated in the service sectors, particularly section S (other service activities), which has a median increase of 7.7% over the time series (Figure 2).

When the sections are broken down further (Figure 3) the revisions to section S (other service activities) are a result of an increase in 96.02 – Hairdressing and other beauty treatments (20.9%); 96.04-9 – Physical well-being activities and other personal service activities (12.1%); and 96.01 - Washing and (dry-)cleaning of textile and fur products (8%). There are also large revisions to divisions 74 – Other professional, scientific and technical activities (16.9%) and 82 - Office administrative, office support and other business support activities (12.8%).

Revisions to seasonally adjusted data

As a result of these revisions for PAYE-only units, the time series have been seasonally re-adjusted. From the start of the time series, the smallest revision to seasonally adjusted EJ is 0.74%; the largest is 1.03% (see Figure 4). This represents an increase of around 300,000 jobs in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015, the most recent period to be revised.

When viewing the revisions to industry at a detailed level of aggregation, there may be negative revisions. This is due to the new revised figures being seasonally re-adjusted.

Outputs by region are published seasonally adjusted in the JOBS05 tables. Wales and the North East have the highest percentage revision (1.1%).

In order to obtain a detailed breakdown of revisions by industry and region over time please contact ONS on +44 (0)1633 456776.