Jobs density


Jobs density figures for 2020 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 2020 the jobs density rate of 0.78 for Lancashire-12 and 0.79 for Lancashire-14 were below both the UK average of 0.85 and the North West rate of 0.82.

Preston (1.06) had a jobs density rate which, in 38th place, fell inside the top 10% of the UK rankings of 382 local authority areas in place as at March 31st 2020.

Ribble Valley (0.96) was ranked in 68th position. Fylde (0.92, 84th), South Ribble (0.89, 104th), Blackpool (0.87, 114th) and West Lancashire (0.85, 131st) were the other Lancashire-14 authorities with jobs density rates in excess of the UK average.

There are large British Aerospace sites in Fylde and Ribble Valley that underpin their relatively high rates. Preston has a diverse economy that includes significant levels of both public and private service sector employment. Along with South Ribble, Preston benefits from its strategic location in central Lancashire.

Rossendale (0.51), Wyre (0.61) and Chorley (0.63) recorded the lowest job density rates in the Lancashire-14 area, falling into the bottom 20% 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 2020 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, while we have also included a PDF document. The map shows authority areas nearby Lancashire-14 with jobs densities as high or higher than the Lancashire highest in Preston. These are Craven in North Yorkshire (1.12, rank 29), South Lakeland in Cumbria (1.08, rank 35), Warrington (1.18, rank 18), Manchester (1.16, rank 20) and Trafford (1.13, rank 26).

The City of London had a jobs density rate (83.71) in 2020 that was far in excess of any other area. Despite remaining so large, it was much reduced from the rate of 102.32 in 2019. This might have been a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, or the resulting requirement to work from home. 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 (3.93) and the neighbouring borough of Camden (1.97) ranked in second and third positions, respectively. Kensington and Chelsea in 5th place with a jobs density of 1.41, Southwark, 7th on 1.33, Islington and Tower Hamlets, both 8th on 1.32 and Hammersmith, 10th on 1.29 are all London Boroughs.

Cambridge, ranked 4th is in the East of England, but Crawley (6th) and Oxford (11th) are in the South East while for the second time a cluster of five districts, all with jobs densities exceeding 1.0 is seen in and around Warwickshire including North Warwickshire, also ranked 11th place. The other four are: Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon, Solihull (West Midlands) and Cotswold (Gloucestershire).

Lewisham (0.39) recorded the lowest rate in the UK, but its close proximity to central London means that its local jobs density must be placed within the context of a far wider area of influence.

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

Further mapping

 National map of jobs densities by local authority (PDF 546 KB)

Page updated March 2022


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