From education to employment

How Has the Labour Market Been Changing Across the Country?

In normal times, we refresh our data on an annual basis using the latest Government labour market datasets, but due to the economy undergoing such huge changes in the last year, we have moved to updating it on a twice yearly basis. In this piece, we want to share some of the headline insights uncovered by the update, looking at the difference between what the data was telling us at the time of the last update (in January), and what it is showing us now. Please note, because there is a long time-lag between the collection and publication of the data by the Office for National Statistics, the latest data doesn’t cover 2021. However, since it covers most of 2020, it gives us a good idea of which areas, occupations and industries have experienced the smallest or largest fallout from the Covid crisis.

We can begin by looking at the overall change in jobs across the country, with the following charts showing this for the 38 English LEP regions, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The first of the two charts shows the change in terms of actual job numbers, and we can see that London (almost 35,000 job losses), Scotland (-13,338) and the South East (-10,312) were hit hardest. On the other hand, Humber (912 extra jobs) and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (22) saw very marginal growth.

By clicking the arrow to move to the second chart, you can see that the hardest hit regions in percentage terms were the North East (-1.27%), Tees Valley (-1.16%) and Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough (-0.88%):

Turning to industry data, the charts below look at the absolute and percentage change in job numbers at the 1-Digit Standard Industry Classification (SIC) level across the United Kingdom as a whole, and for the LEP regions and three nations. Looking at the UK, we can see that a few industries actually grew in terms of absolute job numbers — for example, Construction (18,511 new jobs), Public Administration and Defence (17,512) and Transportation and Storage (10,350). However, job losses were seen in most industries, with Manufacturing (-44,630), Administrative and support service activities (39,097), and Wholesale and retail trade (36,038) seeing the biggest decline.

In percentage terms, the biggest increase across the UK was Public Administration and Defence (1.3%), whilst Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities saw the biggest decline at 3.3%. You can see the figures for each of the LEP areas and devolved nations by using the dropdown menus on the charts:

Finally, we can look at absolute and percentage change in job numbers at the 1-digit Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) level, again across the UK as a whole and for the LEPs and devolved nations. What is particularly interesting when looking at the data for the UK is that there have been significant job losses across the skills spectrum of occupations. So although Elementary Occupations (low skilled) saw a loss of over 28,000 jobs, Professional Occupations (high skilled) also saw losses of nearly 27,000, and Skilled Trades Occupations (middle skilled) declined by over 24,000.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you understand the labour market in your area.

Related Articles