District unemployment


Official model-based unemployment estimates for local authorities within the Lancashire-14 area - January 2015 to December 2015


Blackburn with Darwen at 7.4% (+/- 1.3%), Blackpool at 6.4% (+/- 1.2%), Hyndburn at 5.8% (+/- 1.8%), Burnley at 5.7% (+/- 1.7%) and Preston 5.7% (+/- 1.4%) had high model-based unemployment rates for the year ending December 2015, however, only Blackburn with Darwen had a rate which was higher than the UK rate of 5.3% (+/- 0.1%) in statistical terms.

The model-based unemployment rate for Ribble Valley of 2.7% (+/- 1.0%) was the lowest in the Lancashire-14 area and statistically lower than the UK unemployment rate. The rate was ranked roughly in the 34th lowest position and fell within the bottom tenth of the rankings of the 380 GB local authorities. The model-based unemployment rates for Fylde district at 3.3% (+/- 1.1%), Chorley at 3.5% (+/- 1.1%), Wyre at 3.6% (+/- 1.1%) and South Ribble at 3.8% (+/- 1.1%) were also statistically lower than the UK yearly unemployment rate for the year ending December 2015.

Figure MBU1: Official model-based unemployment rate estimates (with +/- confidence intervals) for local authorities and official unemployment estimates (with +/- confidence intervals) for larger geographic areas - January 2015 to December 2015.

Sources:  Official Model-based unemployment estimates for districts and unitary authorities from the Office for National Statistics via the National On-line Manpower Information System (N.O.M.I.S).  Official unemployment estimates for the Lancashire County Council 12-authority area, the Lancashire 14-authority sub-region, East Lancashire, the Lancashire West area, the North West region and United Kingdom are sourced from ONS Annual Population Survey /Labour Force Survey via N.O.M.I.S.

Blackburn with Darwen (4,900 persons), Blackpool (4,400 persons), Preston (4,000 persons) and Lancaster (3,500 persons) had the greatest number of unemployed people within the Lancashire-14 area. Burnley, which had the fifth smallest population within the sub-region in 2015, however, had the fifth highest model-based unemployment total (2,500 persons), together with West Lancashire borough in the Lancashire-14 area.

Please refer to the official unemployment article for the Lancashire12 and 14 areas for a summary that includes the additional labour market indicators of employment and economic inactivity. 

Yearly Change

The number of unemployed persons within the UK fell by a sixth (-15.0%) over the previous year, or -303,100 people. This reduced the unemployment rate by -0.9 percentage points, from 6.2% (+/- 0.1%) for the year ending December 2014, to 5.3% (+/- 0.1%) for the year ending December 2015.

All of the local authorities within the Lancashire 14-authority area also recorded reductions to their respective model-based unemployment rate estimates over the previous year. Burnley (-3.5 percentage points), Blackpool (-2.3 percentage points), Hyndburn (-2.1 percentage points) and Pendle (-2.1 percentage points) recorded the greatest reductions, whilst Wyre (-0.7 percentage points) and Chorley (-0.6 percentage points) recorded the lowest falls. 

Background and further information

To overcome missing and imprecise unemployment data at the district level within the Annual Population Survey / Labour Force Survey (APS/LFS), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has developed an annual model-based methodology that has enhanced the quality of unemployment figures as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) at the local level. This has enabled more reliable and accurate unemployment estimates to be produced for local authority districts and unitary authorities. The new estimates are now accredited as National Statistics. The model-based unemployment dataset is only available for total unemployment and is not subdivided by age or sex.

Official unemployment data are not available at ward level because of insufficient sample size at that geographic level.

Important note about the accuracy and reliability of the data and interpretation

Please note that local data sourced from the Annual Population Survey / Labour Market Survey and published by the Office for National Statistics below the regional level is less accurate and can be volatile, owing to the smaller sample sizes and this may explain some of the latest variation in data. Data for the number of persons employed, those persons economically active and those persons economically inactive can vary by almost +/- 11% in some instances at the local authority district level. Figures for the two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool tend to have a lower spread of variance, being less than +/- 3.0%, owing to the larger sample sizes administered for these authorities. The figures in this article should be viewed as estimates, rather than definitive data and caution applied in their interpretation. It is also advisable to revisit subsequent releases of these datasets in the future to ascertain if the trends continue, or whether some of the figures may be a result of statistical anomalies.

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 System (N.O.M.I.S.) web site – see the links below. These are external links and we have no control over their content. 

Further analysis

The associated data tables, together with additional time series graphs and information are contained in the full report, which is available to download below. 

Page updated July 2016.