Overview and UK & North West unemployment figures

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Official Unemployment Statistics


Official unemployment figures for the United Kingdom and the North West region (September 2015 to November 2015), published January 2016

Summary

 

For the three months ending November 2015, the number of unemployed people totalled 1,675,000 in the United Kingdom (UK) and 179,000 persons in the North West region.
 
The UK unemployment rate was 5.1%. The last time a UK rate of 5.1% was recorded was for the three months ending October 2005. The North West unemployment rate was 5.0% for the three months to November 2015, which was the lowest regional rate since 2006.  
 
The highest rate for the three months to November 2015 was in the North East (7.9%) and the lowest rate was in the South East (3.7%).
 
The male unemployment rate in the North West (5.1%) was marginally lower than the UK rate for men (5.2%). The female unemployment rate in the region (4.9%) was the same as the national rate for women (4.9%).
 
Unemployment decreased by -99,000 people in the UK over the previous quarter and by -15,000 people in the North West. The unemployment rate in the North West decreased by -0.5% over the last quarter, a greater reduction than the fall of -0.3% recorded for the UK.
 
The North West quarterly decrease of -15,000 persons was the result of female unemployment dropping by a notable -16,000 women, roughly a sixth, which outweighed the slight rise in male unemployment of +1,000 men. At the UK level, the female rate fell by the same margin (-0.3%) as the male rate (-0.3%), however, the reduction in male unemployment numbers was slightly greater than the fall in female numbers.  
 
The unemployment rate for women in the North West decreased by a notable -1.1% to 4.9% over the previous quarter, as a result of female unemployment dropping by a sixth over the period. The UK rate for woman also fell, but by a lower -0.3%, also down to 4.9%. 
 
The number of unemployed men in the North West increased slightly, by +1,000 males (+1.3%), to 97,000 over the previous quarter, however, the male unemployment rate for the region was unchanged over the period. By contrast, the male UK rate decreased by -0.3% over the last quarter.
 
Over the previous year, the male, female and all persons unemployment rates have fallen by a greater extent in the North West than the UK, especially the North West male rate, which dropped by -2.2% (UK = -0.9%). The female unemployment rate for the North West decreased by -0.9% over the year, which was greater than the -0.6% reduction in the female rate at the UK level.

Table 1: Official unemployment for the United Kingdom and North West region for the three months from September 2015 to November 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
1,675,000
5.1
-99,000
-5.6
-0.3
-239,000
-12.5
-0.8
North West
179,000
5.0
-15,000
-7.8
-0.5
-50,000
-21.9
-1.6
Men
United Kingdom
919,000
5.2
-51,000
-5.3
-0.3
-149,000
-14.0
-0.9
North West
97,000
5.1
+1,000
+1.3
0.0
-38,000
-28.3
-2.2
Women
United Kingdom
756,000
4.9
-47,000
-5.9
-0.3
-89,000
-10.6
-0.6
North West
82,000
4.9
-16,000
-16.7
-1.1
-12,000
-12.8
-0.9

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 September 2015 to November 2015, sourced from the Labour Market Survey

 (UK Labour Market Statistical Bulletin and the Regional Labour Market Statistical Bulletin).

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 November 2015, the number of unemployed people totalled 1,675,000 in the United Kingdom (UK) and 179,000 persons in the North West region. Unemployment decreased by -99,000 people in the UK over the previous quarter and by -15,000 people in the North West.

The official unemployment rate for all people aged 16 and over in the North West region of 5.0% was marginally below the UK rate (5.1%).

The unemployment rate for men in the North West was 5.1% for the three months ending November 2015, which was marginally lower than the rate for males in the United Kingdom of 5.2%.

The unemployment rate for women in the North West, however, was 4.9% for the three months ending November 2015, which was the same as the rate for females in the United Kingdom of 4.9%.

Quarterly change in unemployment figures

Over the previous quarter, official unemployment numbers in the UK fell by -99,000 people (-5.6%) and the unemployment rate decreased by -0.3% to 5.1%.

The UK quarterly fall in the unemployment total was the result of male unemployment decreasing by a greater number (-51,000 men, -5.3%) than the fall in female unemployment (-47,000 women, -5.9%).

The unemployment rate for men in the UK fell by -0.3% to 5.1%, whilst the unemployment rate for women also dropped by -0.3% to 4.9% over the last quarter.

The number of persons unemployed in the North West region fell, by -15,000 (-7.8%), over the previous quarter and the regional unemployment rate decreased by a greater -0.5% to 5.0%.

The North West quarterly decrease of -15,000 persons was the result of female unemployment dropping by -16,000 women, roughly a sixth, which outweighed the slight rise in male unemployment of +1,000 men.

The increase in male unemployment in the North West over the previous quarter was contrary to the fall in male unemployment at the UK level.

The male unemployment rate in the North West was unchanged (0.0%) over the previous quarter, however, the number of unemployed men increased slightly, by +1,000 males (+1.3%), to 97,000.  By contrast, the male UK rate decreased by -0.3% over the last quarter.

The unemployment rate for women in the North West decreased by a notable -1.1% to 4.9% over the previous quarter, as a result of female unemployment dropping by a sixth over the period. The UK rate for woman also fell, but by a lower -0.3%, also down to 4.9%. 

Yearly change in unemployment figures

Unemployment rates have fallen for males, females and all persons in the UK over the last year. The UK male rate decreased by a greater margin (-0.9%) than the UK rate for women (-0.6%) over the year.

Within the North West region, unemployment rates also fell for males, females and all persons over the year.  The male unemployment rate in the region dropped markedly, by -2.2%, which is more than double the fall of -0.9% recorded in the North West for women.

The unemployment rate for all persons in the North West region has fallen at double the pace (-1.6%) than within the UK (-0.8%) over the previous year.

The male unemployment rate within the North West decreased by more than twice the extent (-2.2%) of the UK decline in male unemployment (-0.9%) over the previous year. Male unemployment numbers in the region decreased by more than a quarter (-28.3%), more than double the rate of reduction for the UK as a whole (-14.0%). 

The female unemployment rate has decreased in the North West over the previous year by -0.9%, which was greater than the -0.6% fall in the rate for woman at the UK level.

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

UK & North West Three Monthly Unemployment Rates Timeseries

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 (Lancashire-12 area) and the Lancashire 14-authority sub-region (Lancashire-14 area) are based on 12 month averages (rather than the 3 month averages presented in this article) and are published two to five 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-12 area and the Lancashire-14 area 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 area 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 January 2016 by Paul Ayre