Economic inactivity rates by UK country/English region and quarter (seasonally adjusted)
- High level information
- Summary information
- Statistical quality information
- Open Data
TitleLabour Force Survey: Summary of economic activity
Last update17 February 2017
Next update17 March 2017
Publishing organisationWelsh Government
Source 1Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics
Lowest level of geographical disaggregationUK regions
Geographical coverageUK regions
Languages coveredEnglish and Welsh
Data licensingYou may use and re-use this data free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government License - see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence
General descriptionThese data are taken from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data are seasonally adjusted and are updated each month to give a time series of three month averages up to and including the latest three month period for the UK and each UK country and English region.
Data collection and calculationThe population can be broken down into economically active and economically inactive populations. The economically active population is made up of persons in employment, and persons unemployed according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition. This report allows the user to access these data.
Although each measure is available for different population bases, there is an official standard population base used for each of the measures, as follows.
Population aged 16 and over: Economic activity level, Employment level, ILO unemployment level
Population aged 16-64: Economic inactivity level
16-64 population is used as the base for economic inactivity. By excluding persons of pensionable age who are generally retired and therefore economically inactive, this gives a more appropriate measure of workforce inactivity.
Rates for each of the above measures are also calculated in a standard manner and are available in the dataset. With the exception of the ILO unemployment rate, each rate is defined in terms of the shares of population that fall into each category. The ILO unemployment rate is defined as ILO unemployed persons as a percentage of the economically active population.
Although each rate is available for the different population bases, there is an official standard population base used for each of the rates, as follows.
Percentage of population aged 16-64: Economic activity, Employment,. Economic inactivity
Percentage of economically active population aged 16 and over: ILO unemployment
Frequency of publicationMonthly
Data reference periods1992 to 2016
Rounding appliedFigures are rounded to the nearest thousand and so there may be some apparent slight discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and the totals as shown.
Revisions informationIn May 2015, the Labour Force Survey data has been revised back to 2012, due to taking on board the latest population estimates and a review of the seasonal adjustment process.
Statistical qualityAll this information comes from the LFS, carried out by the ONS. As the data come from a survey, the results are sample-based estimates and therefore subject to differing degrees of sampling variability, i.e. the true value for any measure lies in a differing range about the estimated value. This range or sampling variability increases as the detail in the data increases, for example regional data are subject to higher variability than UK data.
LFS data is collected throughout the year, and is available from the ONS in a variety of ways. This dataset contains three-monthly figures for UK countries and the English regions, and is updated on a monthly basis, as referred to in the first bullet below.
Key data on the labour market is updated every month showing the position for the latest three months, for the UK and each of the UK countries and English regions. Note these data are seasonally adjusted and also that no sub-regional (i.e. local authority) data are published by the ONS to a monthly timetable.
Annual results covering the periods described earlier are also available from the ONS, providing more detailed data from the LFS, including data for sub-Wales geographies. These annual datasets use results from the samples for the quarterly surveys used for the key series, together with results from additional persons sampled to provide a more robust (boosted) dataset, with estimates subject to much lower sampling variability.
Note finally that the ILO unemployment measure differs from another commonly used measure of unemployment, namely the claimant count. The latter is a count of all those claiming unemployment benefit, and as such it is not subject to sampling variability. However, it excludes those who are unemployed who are not eligible to claim (for example those out of work but whose partner works), and those who do not wish to claim. The ILO measure, which is a count of those who are out of work and want a job, have actively sought work in the last 4 weeks and are available to start work in the next two weeks; plus those who are out of work, have found a job and are waiting to start in the next 2 weeks, is a more encompassing measure of unemployment, which is used around the world.