Jobs density


Jobs density figures for 2022 are available down to the local authority level. Jobs density is defined as the number of jobs in an area divided by the resident population aged 16-64 in that area. For example, a jobs density of 1.0 would mean that there is one job for every resident aged 16-64. It is apparent that not everybody in this age-group would be in employment or actively seeking work, therefore the UK average is well below a job density figure of 1.0. It is generally by comparison with the UK density that we can determine whether there are more workers resident in an area travelling outside the area to work than those travelling in, or vice versa, although it depends on the age structure and local demographics.

The total number of jobs is a workplace-based measure and comprises employee jobs, self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces. The total jobs numbers are greater than the employment estimates derived from the business register employment survey, because they encompass a wider definition of the jobs market that includes the self-employed.

The results have been downloaded from the National Online Manpower Information Service website.

Definition of the Lancashire areas used in this report

The Lancashire-12 area is comprised of the 12 local authorities that lie within the Lancashire County Council administrative boundary. The Lancashire-14 area incorporates the two additional unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool and has the same geographic footprint as the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

Analysis of the Lancashire areas, North West and UK figures

In 2022 the jobs density rate of 0.77 for Lancashire-12 and 0.78 for Lancashire-14 were below both the UK average of 0.87 and the North West rate of 0.84.

Preston (1.11) had a jobs density rate which, in 26th place, fell inside the top 10% of the UK rankings of 374 local authority areas in place as at March 31st 2022.

Fylde (1.02) was the other Lancashire-12 authority with a jobs density rate in excess of the UK average.

Preston has a diverse economy that includes significant levels of both public and private service sector employment and benefits from its strategic location in central Lancashire.

Rossendale (0.50, in 8th lowest place), Wyre (0.59) and Hyndburn (0.61) recorded the lowest job density rates in the Lancashire-14 area, falling into the bottom 10% of the UK rankings. Many residents within these areas commute to jobs outside of their respective district boundaries. The average earnings results confirm that these three authorities, but particularly Rossendale and Wyre, have lower levels of workplace-based earnings, and better earnings by place of residence. These figures indicate that many residents commute outside their respective areas for better paid jobs.

Figure 1. Jobs density rates, ranks and total job numbers in the United Kingdom (Microsoft Power BI slide)

Unlike the results from some previous years, the jobs densities in Lancashire-14 for 2022 were not as high as some of the neighbouring authorities. This can be seen in the national map which appears as a Microsoft Power BI slide. The map shows authority areas nearby Lancashire-14 with jobs densities as high or higher than the Lancashire highest in Preston. These include Trafford (1.26, rank 11), Manchester (1.25, rank 13), Craven in North Yorkshire (1.19, rank 15) and Warrington (1.16, rank 21).

The City of London had a jobs density rate (102.98) in 2022 that was far in excess of any other area. Usually the small size and population of the authority, combined with a high concentration of financial institutions and other organisations, results in a huge job to resident ratio. The extent of the difference can be seen by comparing the figures for Westminster (5.45) and the neighbouring borough of Camden (2.82) ranked in second and third positions, respectively. Islington in 4th place with a jobs density of 1.7, Kensington and Chelsea in 5th place on 1.56, Southwark, 6th on 1.47, and Tower Hamlets, 8th on 1.35 are all London Boroughs.

North Warwickshire was ranked 12th in 2021 but moved up to 7th in 2022 with a density of 1.36. Dacorum, in 9th place with a density of 1.35 is in the East of England, but very near to London. Winchester, near the south coast, completes the top 10 with a density of 1.31. 

Lewisham (0.45) often recorded the lowest rate in the UK, but in 2022, the same as in 2021, it was the Scottish authority of East Renfrewshire (0.44), just south of the high density authority of Glasgow City.

The number of jobs, jobs density and rank of all UK authorities is also available as a Microsoft Excel download

Page updated February 2024


Data download of number of jobs, jobs density and rank of UK authorities