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Labour market statistics: UK regions and countries

Published Monday, July 17, 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 April 2016 and March 2017 the employment rate was highest in the South East (77.7%) and lowest in Northern Ireland (68.9%).

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 with the exception of Scotland where the employment rate was 0.6 percentage points lower than in 2007/08. Northern Ireland’s employment rate was around the same as in 2007/08.


Between April 2016 and March 2017 the unemployment rate was highest in the North East (7.1%) and lowest in the East of England and the South East (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 1.7 percentage points higher in 2016/17 than it was in 2007/08.

Part-time employment

Between April 2016 and March 2017 part-time working was most prevalent in the South West where 31.1% of those in employment are working part-time. Part-time working was least prevalent in London where 22.8% of those in employment were working part-time.


Self-employment was most prevalent in London where 19.0% of those in employment were self-employed. Self-employment was least prevalent in the North East where 11.0% 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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