Job densities


Jobs density figures for 2016 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 job 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-14 area used in this report

The Lancashire-12 area is comprised of the 12 local authorities that fall 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. Please refer to the Geographies of Lancashire page

Analysis of the Lancashire-14, North West and UK figures

The Instant Atlas report lists the job density rates for each of the 14 authorities within the broader Lancashire area, and also includes the UK, regional and county rates. 

In 2016 the Lancashire-14 job density rate of 0.79 was below the UK average of 0.84 and was lower than North West rate of 0.81.

Fylde (1.05) had a job density rate which just fell in the top 10% of the UK rankings of 391 local authority areas. Preston (1.03) was outside of the top 10%, ranked in 49th position. Ribble Valley and South Ribble were the other Lancashire-14 authority with job density rates in excess of the UK average, falling inside the top third of the rankings.

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 (0.57), Pendle and Wyre (both 0.62) 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.

Unlike the results from previous years, the job densities in Lancashire-14 for 2016 were not as high as some of the neighbouring authorities. This can be seen in the national map which we have included as an interactive PDF. This contains the number of jobs, job density and rank for all the authorities that appear within the map's extent. To access the statistics the PDF must be opened within Adobe Reader or Professional. If the image automatically appears within your browser window select the download option if it is available. If you see an 'open with' option choose Adobe Reader, or opt to save rather than opening immediately. When you have opened the PDF in Adobe Reader you can access the data by using the 'Model Tree' which is one of the icons in the left margin. Otherwise enabling the 'Object Data Tool' which may appear as a menu option from 'Analysis' under the 'Edit' tab. With this tool you can click on the area in question, but it may require numerous clicks. It is easier to select the authority from the list that appears in the Model Tree.

The map shows two authority areas that adjoin Lancashire-14 with higher job densities. These are South Lakeland (1.06, rank 37) and, in North Yorkshire, Craven (1.18, rank 17). Just east of Craven is Harrogate with a job density of 1.12 and a rank of 25th. Other high densities in the North West are found in the neighbouring authorities of Trafford (1.13, rank 24) and Manchester (1.11, rank 28) as well as the Warrington unitary authority (1.1, rank 29). After that the nearest authority in the top decile is Nottingham.

The City of London had a job density rate (82.55) in 2016 that was far in excess of any other area. The small size and population of the authority, combined with a high concentration of financial institutions and other organisations, has resulted in a huge job to resident ratio. The extent of the difference can be seen by comparing the figures for Westminster (4.28) and the neighbouring borough of Camden (2.3) ranked in second and third positions, respectively. The Isles of Scilly appear in 4th place with a jobs density of 2.08. Given the insularity and relative inaccessibility of the authority, this high figure is very unusual.

An analysis of all authorities across the country reveals a number of other London authorities, and other major urban localities, with high job density rates, whilst some sparsely populated localities had relatively low rates. This pattern however is not consistent across the country. For example, Lewisham (0.39) recorded the lowest rate in the UK, but its close proximity to central London means that its local job density must be placed within the context of a far wider area of influence.

Further mapping

 National map of job densities by local authority (PDF 568 KB)

Page updated January 2018