Rural England

Wanting paid work

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • In the three years to end 2009, those officially unemployed in rural districts represented just less than half of the total number of working-age adults in rural districts who lacked, but wanted, paid work.  This is despite the sharp rise in unemployment during the recent recession.  Rather, the majority were considered to be ‘economically inactive’, either because they are able to started work immediately or because they are not actively seeking work (e.g. the long-term sick or disabled).
  • The proportion of working-age adults who lack, but want, paid work is much lower in rural districts than in urban districts.
  • In the three years to end 2009, a million working-age adults in rural districts lacked, but wanted, paid work.
  • The geographic pattern for lacking, but wanting, paid work is very different than that for those in work but low paid.  See the indicator on low pay.
  • See the UK indicator on lack of work.

Rural/urban ratios (urban = 10)

On most poverty and social exclusion indicators, rural areas have ‘better scores’ than urban areas.  The purpose of the table below is to differentiate between those subjects where rural areas are ‘a bit better’ and those where rural areas are ‘a lot better’.  It does so by presenting the rural statistics for the indicator as a proportion of the urban statistics.  So, for example, a rural ‘score’ of 6 in the table below means that the rural statistic is around 60% of its urban equivalent.

Type of district Unemployed Economically inactive but want to work Total lacking, but wanting, paid work
'Very rural' districts6 8 7
'Mostly rural' districts7 8 7
'Part rural' districts7 8 8

Definitions and data sources

The graphs

For each type of local authority district, the first graph shows the proportion of working-age adults who lack, but want, paid work.  It is divided between the ILO unemployed and those who are counted as ‘economically inactive’ but who want paid work.  This latter group includes people not available to work for some time and people not actively seeking work.

The second graph shows the distribution of those working-age adults who lack, but want, paid work by type of district.

‘Unemployment’ is the ILO definition, which is used for the official unemployment numbers.  It comprises all those with no paid work in the survey week who were available to start work in the next fortnight and who either looked for work in the last month or were waiting to start a job already obtained.

The ‘economically inactive who want paid work’ includes people not available to start work for some time and those not actively seeking work.  The data is based on a question asking the economically inactive whether they would like paid work or not.

Level of the data

Lower tier local authorities (districts), as classified by the DEFRA 2009 classification system.  Both the DEFRA classification rules and their results by local authority can be found on the page on rural/urban classification systems.

Source

The Annual Population Survey, which is effectively the Labour Force Survey with selected booster samples to compensate for small sample sizes in some authorities.  The data is the average for the latest three years.

The numbers

Type of district Proportion lacking, but wanting, paid work Total lacking, but wanting, paid work
'Very rural' districts8.3% 300,000
'Mostly rural' districts8.6% 400,000
'Part rural' districts8.9% 400,000
Urban districts11.7% 2,400,000