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Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity in Middlesbrough

How Middlesbrough compares with the North East and Great Britain across employment-related statistics

In Middlesbrough:

Employment rate 64.4% ages 16 to 64

Employment in Middlesbrough has decreased compared with the previous year. Middlesbrough's employment rate was lower than across the North East as a whole in the year ending December 2023.

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Unemployment rate 5.3% ages 16+

Unemployment (people looking for work) has fallen since a year earlier. The most recent unemployment rate for Middlesbrough was higher than across the North East as a whole.

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Claimant Count 6.1% ages 16 to 64

Claimant Count was slightly lower in March 2024 compared with a year earlier. The Claimant Count measures the number of people who are claiming unemployment-related benefits.

Go to Claimant Count section

Economic inactivity 29.2% ages 16 to 64

Economic inactivity has remained similar since the previous year. These are people who are neither employed nor seeking work.

Go to economic inactivity section

Warning:

These estimates are less precise than national or regional figures because they are based on smaller numbers of survey respondents.

Local population changes also mean that the numbers of people in each area who are employed, unemployed and economically inactive in this article may be under- or over-estimates.

Estimates of employment and economic inactivity are based on the Annual Population Survey. Unemployment estimates are modelled to improve their precision compared to those based only on responses provided via the Annual Population Survey.

The Claimant Count is based on administrative data from the benefits system. These data are experimental statistics.

Employment in Middlesbrough has decreased compared with the previous year

Middlesbrough's employment rate was lower than across the North East as a whole in the year ending December 2023.

Of people aged 16 to 64 years living in Middlesbrough, 64.4% were employed in the year ending December 2023. This is a decrease compared with the year ending December 2022 when the local rate was 65.9%.

Across the North East in the year ending December 2023, 72.8% of people aged 16 to 64 years were employed. This was higher compared with the previous year, when 70.5% of people were employed.

Employment rates of areas in the North East

Among those aged 16 to 64 years (%), year ending December 2013 to year ending December 2023
Figures are based on a small number of survey responses in each area and are less precise than national or regional estimates. Ranking, and changes in ranking, may be the result of sampling variability.

Overall, there were 57,300 people aged 16 and over in Middlesbrough who were employed in the year ending December 2023. This is down from the previous year, when there were 58,900 people aged 16 and over who were employed.

Local population changes mean that the numbers of people in each area who are employed, unemployed and economically inactive in this article may be under- or over-estimates.

Unemployment decreased in Middlesbrough compared with the previous year

Unemployment estimates are modelled to improve their precision compared to those based only on responses provided via the Annual Population Survey.

Around 3,200 people aged 16 and over in Middlesbrough were unemployed in the year ending December 2023. This is a rate of 5.3%.

This was a decrease compared with the year ending December 2022 when the unemployment rate was 5.9%.

Across the North East, from the year ending December 2022 to the year ending December 2023, there was a decrease in the unemployment rate from 4.6% to 3.9%.

Year on year, the number of people unemployed in the North East fell from around 57,400 to around 49,400 over the same period.

Unemployment across Great Britain rose slightly between the year ending December 2022 and the year ending December 2023, going from around 1,180,000 people (3.6%) to around 1,240,000 (3.7%).

Unemployed people are those without jobs who are actively seeking work and available to take up a job. Some jobless people may not seek work or be able to work for various reasons, such as retirement, sickness, or study, and are called "economically inactive".

This means that the employment rate and the unemployment rate can both go up at the same time as people move into the labour market and become job seekers.

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people out of everyone "economically active" in the labour market, that is, everyone who is employed or looking for work. The employment rate is out of the working-age population including "economically inactive" people.

Highest unemployment rates (%) of areas in the North East

Among those aged 16 and over and active in the labour market, year ending December 2023

Claimant Count in Middlesbrough was slightly lower than in the previous year

The Claimant Count is an experimental statistic that measures the number of people who are claiming unemployment-related benefits.

The Claimant Count in Middlesbrough was 5500 in March 2024, down from March 2023, when there were 5590 claimants.

The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 years in Middlesbrough who were claiming unemployment-related benefits was 6.1% in March 2024, a slight decrease compared with March 2023 when it was 6.2%.

Claimant Count (%) for areas in the North East

Among those aged 16 to 64 years, March 2014 to March 2024

Economic inactivity has remained similar in Middlesbrough compared with the previous year

Around 25,300 people or 29.2% of the population aged 16 to 64 years in Middlesbrough were "economically inactive" in the year ending December 2023. This compares with around 25,600 people (29.3%) in the year ending December 2022.

People are classed as "economically inactive" if they are not in employment but don't meet the criteria for being "unemployed". This means they have not been seeking work within the previous four weeks or were unable to start work within the next two weeks. Common reasons include being retired, looking after the home or family or being temporarily or long-term sick and disabled.

Economic inactivity in Middlesbrough is higher than across the North East and Great Britain.

Across the North East, 24.2% of people aged 16 to 64 years were economically inactive during the year ending December 2023, a decrease compared with the year ending December 2022 when 26.0% were economically inactive.

Overall in Great Britain, 21.2% of people aged 16 to 64 years were economically inactive, compared with 21.5% in the previous year.

Economic inactivity in Middlesbrough compared with the North East

Residents aged 16 to 64 years (%), year ending December 2023
The estimate for Middlesbrough is based on a small number of survey responses and is less precise than national or regional estimates. Ranking may be the result of sampling variability.

More data about Middlesbrough

You can view and download more local labour market data on the Middlesbrough area profile page on Nomis.

Find more facts and figures about Middlesbrough.

More data on the labour market

The most recent labour market figures for all local authorities are in our associated data release.

You can also read our most recent labour market overview.

Historic data is available on Nomis. For employment and economic inactivity, see estimates from the Annual Population Survey. Data for model-based unemployment and Claimant Count (non-seasonally adjusted) are also available.

About this article

The content in this article is generated using semi-automated journalism, based on rules pre-programmed by Office for National Statistics (ONS) staff.

This is a new product in Beta release, intended to improve the accessibility of labour market data at local level. Leave us general feedback or contact the subnational analysis team by emailing subnational@ons.gov.uk.

Articles are not available for Isles of Scilly and City of London, as the survey samples of the resident population are too small.

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