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Labour market statistics: UK regions and countries

Published Monday, April 24, 2017

This paper gives an overview of labour market statistics across the UK’s regions and countries. The spreadsheet published alongside this paper includes a ‘profile tool’ where you can select a region and see all data for that region presented in tables and charts.

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Between January 2016 and December 2016 the employment rate was highest in the South East (77.6%) and lowest in Northern Ireland (69.3%).

The recent trend in employment rates across all regions and countries is one of growth. Employment rates have recovered to their pre-recession levels in all regions and countries apart from Scotland where the employment rate is 0.9 percentage points lower than in 2007.


Between January 2016 and December 2016 the unemployment rate was highest in the North East (6.6%) and lowest in the East of England (3.8%).

As with employment rates most UK regions and countries have seen their unemployment rate recover to pre-recession levels. However, the unemployment rate in Northern Ireland is 2.1 percentage points higher in 2016 than it was in 2007.

Part-time employment

Between January 2016 and December 2016 part-time working was most prevalent in the South West where 31.3% of those in employment are working part-time. Part-time working was least prevalent in London where 22.6% of those in employment were working part-time


Self-employment was most prevalent in London where 18.9% of those in employment were self-employed. Self-employment was least prevalent in the North East where 10.9% of workers were self-employed.

Average weekly earnings

The latest statistics from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings show that in April 2016 average weekly earnings for full-time employees was highest in London (£632) and lowest in the North East (£492).

Average weekly earnings for full-time employees are, in real terms, below their pre-recession levels in every region and country except for Northern Ireland. Average weekly earnings for full-time employees in Northern Ireland was slightly higher (0.7%) in 2016 than in 2008.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7950

Author: Jennifer Brown

Topics: Economic situation, Employment, Incomes and poverty, Unemployment

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