Official unemployment

Summary for the United Kingdom and the North West region

For the three month period from July 2017 to September 2017, the number of unemployed people totalled 1,425,000 in the United Kingdom and 155,000 persons in the North West region.

The North West unemployment rate of 4.3% was the same as the UK rate of 4.3%.

The UK rate is the lowest since the spring of 1975, whilst the North West rate is at levels recorded in the summer of 2004.

The highest regional unemployment rates in the UK for the three months ending September 2017 were recorded in the North East of England and the West Midlands (both 5.5%); the lowest rate was in the South East (3.2%).

The male unemployment rate in the North West (4.9%) was higher the rate for men in the UK (4.3%).

In contrast, the female unemployment rate in the region at 3.7% was lower than the national rate for women of 4.2%.

The unemployment rate for men in the North West (4.9%) is notably higher than the rate for women in the region (3.7%).

Table 1: Official unemployment figures for the United Kingdom and North West region for the three months from July 2017 to September 2017

Persons aged 16 and over, economically active, seasonally adjusted
  Unemployed

Unemployment - quarterly change

Unemployment - yearly change

Area number rate (%) in number percent in rate in number percent in rate
All Persons
United Kingdom 1,425,000 4.3 -59,000 -4.0 -0.2 -182,000 -11.3 -0.6
North West 155,000 4.3 9,000 6.0 0.3 -31,000 -16.9 -1.0
Males
United Kingdom 770,000 4.3 -48,000 -5.8 -0.2 -109,000 -12.4 -0.6
North West 92,000 4.9 9,000 10.4 0.5 -14,000 -13.1 -0.9
Females
United Kingdom 657,000 4.2 -12,000 -1.7 -0.1 -73,000 -10.1 -0.5
North West 63,000 3.7 0 0.1 0.0 -18,000 -21.8 -1.1

Source: Office for National Statistics – Statistical Bulletins - UK Labour Market (Summary, table 1) and Regional Labour Market Statistics (download data table H102).

Quarterly change

The North West unemployment rate for all persons increased over the previous quarter, whilst the rate for all persons at the UK level decreased. The increase in the North West was wholly the result of a rise in male unemployment as female unemployment numbers remained unchanged. At the UK level, male unemployment fell by a greater extent than female unemployment.

Unemployment fell by 59,000 people in the UK but rose by 9,000 persons in the North West over the previous quarter. The unemployment rate for the UK decreased by 0.2 percentage points, whilst contrary to this, the regional rate increased by 0.3 percentage points.

The North West quarterly increase of 9,000 unemployed persons was wholly the result of male unemployment rising by 9,000 men (6.0%), whilst female unemployment remaining unchanged.

The unemployment rate for women in the region remained unchanged at 3.7%. It is the lowest unemployment rate for women in the North West since the regional time series began in the spring of 1992. The unemployment rate for men in the North West increased by 0.3 percentage points over the quarter to 4.9%.

The UK quarterly decrease in the number of unemployment persons (59,000) was the result of male unemployment falling by 48,000 men and female unemployment reducing by 12,000 women.

At the UK level, the unemployment rate for all persons dropped by 0.2 percentage points over the previous quarter. The male rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points over the period, whilst the rate for women fell by a lower 0.1 percentage point.

Figure 1: Official unemployment rates for the North West and United Kingdom to the three months ending September 2017 – This graph is updated quarterly (not each month).

Source: Office for National Statistics -Labour Force Survey.

Yearly change

 

Overall, the North West unemployment rate for all persons fell by 1.0 percentage point over the year. This was greater than the decrease of 0.6 percentage points for the UK as a whole. The North West outturn was the result of female unemployment numbers falling by a greater extent than male unemployment. The number of unemployed females in the region reduced by 18,000 women (21.8%) over the previous year, whilst the number of unemployed males declined by 14,000 men (13.1%).

In the North West, the unemployment rate for females decreased by -1.1 percentage points over the last year, the regional female rate dropped by a lower -0.9 percentage points, and the rate for all persons in the North West fell by -1.0 percentage point.

Contrary to the North West, the UK unemployment rate for females dropped by a marginally lower extent (-0.5 percentage points) than the UK rate for males (-0.6 percentage points) over the previous year. Overall, the UK unemployment rate for all persons fell by -0.6 percentage points.

The number of unemployed women in the North West fell by 21.8%, which was more than double the percentage decrease for UK females over the year (10.1%).

Male unemployment in the region fell by 13.1% over the year, which was slightly greater than the percentage decrease of 12.4% recorded for unemployed men in the UK as a whole.

Further analysis

Official unemployment figures for the United Kingdom and North West region, July 2017 to September 2017 (PDF 1,092 KB)

Page updated 17 November 2017.

Unemployment