Regional Employment Rates

In mid-September Office of National Statistics (ONS) published estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment-related statistics for the UK. It shows that nationally, between February to April 2016 and May to July 2016, the number of people in work increased. The number of unemployed people and the number of people not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) fell. There were 31.77 million people in work, 559,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.5%.

In the North, there were 7.12 million people in employment, 147,000 more than twelve months previous. Almost half (48%) of all employed people in the North were in the North West giving the region a 73% employment rate.

Table 1 shows the latest estimates for employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for May to July 2016 and a comparison with the previous quarter (February to April 2016).

Table 1: Employment Activity May to July 2016

Employment rate (%) aged 16 to 64 Change on May to July 2015 Unemployment rate (%) aged 16 and over Change on May to July 2015 Inactivity rate (%) aged 16 to 64 Change on May to July 2015
North East 70.9 2.9 7.5 -1.1 23.2 -2.3
North West 73.0 1.5 5.1 -0.4 23.0 -1.2
Yorkshire and the Humber 72.4 1.0 5.9 -0.4 23.0 -0.7
East Midlands 75.6 0.7 4.3 -0.4 21.0 -0.3
West Midlands 71.9 1.1 6.2 0.5 23.2 -1.6
East 78.1 1.0 3.2 -1.4 19.2 0.1
London 73.4 1.1 6.1 -0.3 21.8 -0.9
South East 78.3 1.6 3.5 -0.9 18.8 -0.9
South West 77.3 -1.2 4.2 0.1 19.1 1.1
England 74.8 1.0 4.9 -0.5 21.2 -0.7
Wales 73.2 1.9 4.1 -2.3 23.6 -0.1
Scotland 74.1 0.0 4.7 -1.2 22.1 0.9
Great Britain 74.7 1.0 4.9 -0.6 21.4 -0.5
Northern Ireland 69.4 1.7 5.6 -0.7 26.4 -1.3
UK 74.5 1.0 4.9 -0.6 21.5 -0.6

The above table shows that the unemployment rate estimates are generally showing small changes for each of the regions of the UK. The North East saw the greatest reduction in unemployment of the three northern regions (-1.1%) compared to the same period in 2015, whereas both the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber saw a 0.4% reduction.

Notwithstanding this, for the 12 months ending July 2016, the highest unemployment rate in the UK was in the North East (7.5%) compared with 5.1% in the North West and 5.9% in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Map 1 shows the percentage of the population of each northern local authority that are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance. The four districts with the highest proportions are in the North East with Middlesbrough (3.7%), South Tyneside (3.4%), Redcar and Cleveland (3.2%) and Hartlepool (3.2%) having a higher proportion that Kingston upon Hull (3.1%). Indeed, all of the Tees Valley authorities have amongst the higher proportions of JSA claimants.

Map 1: Jobseeker’s Allowance by unitary and local authority

map

Contact: Barry Turnbull

Email: barry.turnbull@northern-consortium.org.uk