Economic activity and inactivity

On the day of the census, March 27th 2011, 720,763 people in the Lancashire-14 area stated that they were economically active. This included people in full-time and part-time work, the self-employed, economically active students and unemployed people seeking a job. The total amounted to 67.5% of all people in Lancashire-14 aged between 16 and 74.

In comparison to the England and Wales average (69.7%) the Lancashire-14 area had a lower rate of economic activity. At the Lancashire local authority level, Chorley, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and South Ribble all recorded activity rates in excess of 70%. In contrast, the rate in Burnley was just 66.1% and for Blackburn with Darwen it was even lower at 64.2%.

Out of 348 local authorities across England and Wales, the authority with the highest economic activity rate would be ranked in first position. In Lancashire-14, only South Ribble was in the top 100, whilst Chorley, Ribble Valley and Rossendale were the only other Lancashire authorities in the top 200. In contrast, Burnley, Lancaster, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool were all ranked below 300.

In the Lancashire-14 area, a higher percentage of the economically inactive stated that they were retired (15.8%) than the England and Wales average (13.8%). Fylde and Wyre are authorities popular with older age-groups and the retired represented over 20% of the economically inactive in these two authorities.  

Students accounted for a substantial 10.9% of the economically inactive in Lancaster and represented the prime reason behind the low activity rate in the authority. Preston (8.2%) also had a high rate of economically inactive students. In contrast, students represented less than 4% of the economically inactive in Chorley, Fylde, Ribble Valley, South Ribble, Wyre and Blackpool.

Looking after home or family was the reason given by 3.9% in Lancashire-14. This was less than the national average (4.3%), but percentages above the national average were recorded in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston and Blackburn with Darwen. This may reflect local factors such as the ethnic mix of the area.

Lancashire had a higher percentage of people stating that they were economically inactive because they were sick/disabled than the national average of 4.2%. Rates in excess of 7% were recorded in Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool. South Ribble (3.5%) and Ribble Valley (2.7%) were the only Lancashire authorities with rates below 4%.   

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To see interactive maps on this topic please click here. Results are available for Lancashire local authorities, wards and lower super output areas. 

Page updated February 2013