For the three month period from October 2017 to December 2017, the number of unemployed people totalled 1,470,000 in the United Kingdom and 145,000 persons in the North West region.
The North West unemployment rate of 4.1% was lower than the UK rate of 4.4%.
The UK rate is the second lowest since the spring of 1975 and back to the level seen for the April to June 2017 period. The North West rate is the second lowest since the regional time series began in the spring of 1992, and back to the level recorded last year, also for the three month period ending June 2017.
The highest regional unemployment rate in the UK for the three months ending December 2017 was recorded in the West Midlands (5.4%); the lowest rate was in the South East (3.1%).
The male unemployment rate in the North West (4.3%) was marginally lower than the rate for men in the UK (4.4%).
The female unemployment rate in the region at 3.9% was lower than the national rate for women of 4.4%.
The unemployment rate for men in the North West (4.4%) is higher than the rate for women in the region (3.9%).
Table 1: Official unemployment figures for the United Kingdom and North West region for the three months from October 2017 to December 2017
|Persons aged 16 and over, economically active, seasonally adjusted|
Unemployment - quarterly change
Unemployment - yearly change
|Area||number||rate (%)||in number||percent||in rate||in number||percent||in rate|
Source: Office for National Statistics – Statistical Bulletins - UK Labour Market (Summary, table 1) and Regional Labour Market Statistics (download data table H102).
In general, changes in the unemployment numbers (and especially the unemployment rates) between 3 month periods are small, and are not usually greater than the level that is explainable by sampling variability. In practice, this means that small, short-term movements in reported rates (for example within +/- 0.3 percentage points) should be treated as indicative, and considered alongside medium and long-term patterns in the series and corresponding movements in administrative sources, where available, to give a fuller picture.
The UK unemployment rate for all persons increased marginally over the previous quarter. This was the first rise in the UK rate since the three months ending August 2016. Contrary to the UK, the North West unemployment rate fell over the previous quarter. The fall in the North West was the result of a sizable reduction in male unemployment which was offset by a smaller rise in female unemployment. At the UK level, the increase in total unemployment was the result of a rise in female unemployment numbers that was more than three time greater than the increase in male unemployment.
Unemployment rose in the UK by 46,000 people over the previous quarter, but decreased by 9,000 persons in the North West. The unemployment rate for the North West decreased by 0.2 percentage points, whilst the UK rate increased marginally, by 0.1 percentage point.
The North West quarterly decrease of 9,000 unemployed persons was the result of male unemployment falling by 12,000 men (13.4%), whilst female unemployment rose by 3,000 women (4.7%).
The unemployment rate for men in the region fell by 0.6 percentage points over the quarter to 4.3%. This is the lowest unemployment rate for men in the North West since the regional time series began in the spring of 1992. The unemployment rate for women in the North West increased by 0.2 percentage points over the quarter to 3.9%. It has risen to levels seen for some of the three month periods in early 2017.
The UK quarterly increase in the number of unemployment persons (46,000) was the result of female unemployment rising by 35,000 women and male unemployment increasing by 11,000 women.
At the UK level, the unemployment rate for all persons rose marginally, by 0.1 percentage point over the previous quarter. The female rate increased by 0.2 percentage points, whilst the rate for men remained unchanged over the period.
Figure 1: Official unemployment rates for the North West and United Kingdom to the three months ending December 2017 – This graph is updated quarterly (not each month).
Overall, the North West unemployment rate for all persons fell by 0.9 percentage point over the year. This was greater than the decrease of 0.4 percentage points for the UK as a whole. The North West outturn was the result of male unemployment numbers falling by a much greater extent than female unemployment. The number of unemployed males in the region reduced by 30,000 men (27.6%) over the previous year, by more than a quarter, whilst the number of unemployed females declined by just 2,000 women (2.5%).
In the North West, the unemployment rate for males decreased by -1.7 percentage points over the last year, whilst the female rate in the region was unchanged. The rate for all persons in the North West fell by -0.9 percentage points.
At the UK level, the unemployment rate for males dropped by a greater extent (-0.5 percentage points) than the UK rate for females (-0.2 percentage points) over the previous year. Overall, the UK unemployment rate for all persons fell by -0.4 percentage points.
Male unemployment in the region fell by 27.6% over the year, which was more than 2.5 times greater than the percentage decrease of 10.7% recorded for unemployed men in the UK as a whole.
The number of unemployed women in the North West fell by 2.5%, which was lower than the percentage decrease for UK females over the year (4.1%).
Page updated 21 February 2018.