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Official Unemployment Statistics


Official unemployment figures for the United Kingdom and North West region (April 2015 to June 2015), published August 2015

Summary

For the three months ending June 2015, the number unemployed totalled 1,852,000 in the United Kingdom (UK) and 213,000 in the North West region. Unemployment increased by 25,000 people in the UK over the previous quarter and by 11,000 people in the North West.

The North West unemployment rate of 6.0% was higher than the UK rate of 5.6%. Male and female unemployment rates in the North West were also higher than the UK rates for men and women.

The unemployment rate in the North West region increased by 0.4% over the last quarter (11,000 people), which was much greater than the UK rise of 0.1% (25,000 people). The North West rise was largely attributable to the large increase in female unemployment in the region over the quarter (9,000 women (10.8%)).

Male unemployment rates have fallen by a greater extent than female rates in both the UK and the North West region over the previous year.

Table 1: Official unemployment for the United Kingdom and North West region for the three months from April 2015 to June 2015

-
People aged 16 or over and economically active, seasonally adjusted
-
Unemployment
Quarterly change
Yearly change
-
number
rate (%)
number
 in number (%)
in rate
number
 in number (%)
in rate
 All people
United Kingdom
1,852,000
5.6
25,000
1.4
0.1
-221,000
-10.7
-0.7
North West
213,000
6.0
11,000
5.6
0.4
-29,000
-12.2
-0.9
Men
United Kingdom
1,014,000
5.8
8,000
0.8
0.1
-130,000
-11.3
-0.8
North West
115,000
6.1
2,000
1.6
0.1
-25,000
-17.9
-1.5
Women
United Kingdom
838,000
5.5
17,000
2.1
0.1
-92,000
-9.9
-0.6
North West
97,000
5.9
9,000
10.8
0.6
-4,000
-4.2
-0.3

Note: Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand. 

Source: Office for National Statistics – Labour Force Survey Statistical Bulletins - Labour Market Statistics (for the United Kingdom) and Regional Labour Market Statistics.

Background information

The latest official unemployment statistics for the UK and North West region are presented within this report.  These are the figures that you hear in the news and relate to persons aged 16 and over.  The data has been seasonally adjusted.  

The data is for the three months from April 2015 to June 2015, sourced via the Labour Market Survey.

In January 2003, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) changed the 'official' source of unemployment data from figures based on the Claimant Count of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) to those derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS uses the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition of unemployment, which is an internationally recognised and comparable measure of unemployment. The LFS figures are now the official measure of UK unemployment. Fully consistent LFS data are generally only available back to 1992. However, the ONS has produced a set of historical estimates back to 1971, at the UK level only, that are consistent with post-1992 LFS data. These figures are presented in the graph below. Before November 2002, official unemployment numbers and rates were based on the Claimant Count of unemployment-related benefits. Figures are seasonally adjusted.  The denominators are comprised of the relevant economically active population (those people employed and unemployed) aged 16 and over.

Analysis of official UK and North West unemployment statistics

For the three months ending June 2015, the number of unemployed people totalled 1,852,000 in the United Kingdom (UK) and 213,000 persons in the North West region. Unemployment increased by 25,000 people in the UK over the previous quarter and by 11,000 people in the North West.

The official unemployment rate for all people aged 16 and over in the North West region of 6.0% was higher than the UK rate of 5.6%.

Male and female unemployment rates in the North West were also higher than the UK rates for men and women.

The unemployment rate for men in the North West was 6.1% for the three months ending June 2015, which was greater than the rate for males in the United Kingdom of 5.8%.

The unemployment rate for women in the North West was 5.9% for the three months ending June 2015, which was greater than the rate for females in the United Kingdom of 5.5%.

Quarterly change in unemployment figures

Over the previous quarter, official unemployment numbers in the UK rose by 25,000 people and the unemployment rate rose by 0.1%.

The increase in the unemployment rate for both men and women in the UK was also 0.1% over the last quarter. 

The increase in the number of unemployed women (17,000) in the UK was more than double the rise in the number of unemployed males in the UK over the previous quarter (8,000 men). 

The unemployment rate in the North West region, increased by 0.4% over the last quarter, which was much greater than the UK rise of 0.1%. The North West rise was largely attributable to the large increase in female unemployment in the region over the quarter.

Female unemployment rose by 9,000 women (10.8%) in the region and the female unemployment rate in the North West rose by 0.6% over the last quarter. 

The male unemployment rate in the North West increased by 0.1% (2,000 men) over the previous quarter, which was the same as the rise for males at the UK level (0.1%).

Yearly change in unemployment figures

Over the last year, unemployment rates have fallen within both the UK (-0.7%) and the North West region (-0.9%). 

Male unemployment rates have fallen by a greater extent than female unemployment rates in both the UK and the North West region over the previous year. 

The male unemployment rate in the North West region fell by -1.5%, which was almost double the pace of the reduction in UK male unemployment rate (-0.8%).

The female unemployment rate in the North West fell by a much lower extent (-0.3%) than for males in the region (-1.5%) over the year.  The North West female unemployment rate also reduced at half the pace (-0.3%) of that recorded for women in the UK (-0.6%) over the previous year.

Fig 1: Official unemployment rates for the North West and United Kingdom to the three months ending June 2015

Offic UK & North West Unemp Graph to June 2015

Notes: In January 2003, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) changed the 'official' source of unemployment data from figures based on the claimant count to those derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS uses the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition of unemployment, which is an internationally recognised and comparable measure of unemployment. The LFS figures are now the official measure of UK unemployment. Fully consistent LFS data are generally only available back to 1992. However, the ONS has produced a set of historical estimates back to 1971, at the UK level only, that are consistent with post-1992 LFS data. These figures are presented here. Before November 2002, official unemployment numbers and rates were based on the claimant count of unemployment-related benefits (not shown on this graph). Figures are seasonally adjusted.  The denominator = economically active population aged 16 and over.

Source: Office for National Statistics.

Official unemployment statistics for Lancashire and districts

Official unemployment for the Lancashire County Council area and Lancashire sub-regions

Official unemployment data for the Lancashire County Council 12-authority area and the Lancashire 14-authority sub-region are based on 12 month averages (rather than the 3 month averages presented in this article) and are published two to three months behind the headline figures for the UK and regions.  The Lancashire and district data is published for the twelve months ending March, June, September and December of each year and is sourced from the Annual Population Survey. 

The most recent in depth analysis of official unemployment statistics for the Lancashire County Council 12-authority area and the Lancashire 14-authority sub-region can be found via a report the left hand menu on this web page. The report also includes figures for the Lancashire West 8-authority sub-region and the East Lancashire 6-authority sub-region.   The analysis of the Lancashire data may not reflect the latest unemployment figures. See below for information on how to access the most up to date figures.

Official unemployment for districts/unitary authorities within the Lancashire 14-authority sub-region.

Official unemployment data for the 12 local authorities within the Lancashire County Council area and the two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool is provided via a model-based methodology that has enhanced the quality of unemployment figures at the local level as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Again, this dataset is published every three months for the twelve months ending March, June, September and December of each year.  The model-based unemployment dataset is only available for total unemployment and is not subdivided by age or sex.

The latest analysis of official model-based unemployment statistics for districts and unitary authorities within the Lancashire 14-authority sub-region is available via a report in the left hand menu on this web page. The analysis of the Lancashire data may not reflect the latest official model-based unemployment figures. See below for information on how to access the most up to date figures. The official model-based unemployment statistics for districts may be affected by the roll out of the Universal Credit benefit system as the model-based methodology uses the Claimant Count data to add strength to the unemployment estimates sourced from the Annual Population Survey.  The introduction of Universal Credit from 29th April 2013 has resulted in a disconnect between the number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and the Claimant Count (which were the same until May 2013).  Please refer to the Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) article for further details on the impact of the roll out of Universal Credit on the Claimant Count and the number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.

Official unemployment data for wards

Official unemployment data is not available at ward level because of insufficient sample size at that geographic level.

Source of latest official unemployment statistics and labour market data

It is not always possible for the Business Intelligence team of Lancashire County Council to produce detailed analysis of the official unemployment data and labour market figures for the Lancashire sub-regions and Lancashire districts for every release of these statistics. The most up to date official unemployment data, together with other labour market variables and population figures, are however available within the labour market profiles for local authorities via the National Online Manpower Information Service (N.O.M.I,S.) web site.  These are external links and we have no control over their content.

·         BurnleyChorleyFyldeHyndburnLancasterPendlePrestonRibble ValleyRossendaleSouth RibbleWest LancashireWyreBlackburn with DarwenBlackpool 

·         Lancashire County Council 12-authority area

·         Lancashire 14-authority (Local Enterprise Partnership) sub-region

Last updated in August 2015 by Paul Ayre