New data shows stabilising employment in UK cities after Covid

UK unemployment tracker from Centre for Cities charts the latest claim statistics – and lets you compare data for different cities and large towns. 

The new data, released in April, covers the period from January 2020 to March 2023. In the three years since Covid sent shockwaves through the labour market, there are some promising signs of recovery.

man in red jacket and black pants standing on white concrete building during daytime

It gives figures for ‘claimant counts’ – the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits, expressed as a percentage of the working-age population.  

Average results show that claimant counts and youth claimant counts in most cities and large towns are stabilising, slightly above March 2020 levels. 

But the tracker also makes it easy to look more closely at the data for 63 individual cities and large towns.  

Birmingham has the highest claimant count at 7%, up from 5.7% in March 2020. But it’s also seen a rise in employment of 104% in the same period. 

For each, the site provides local labour market statistics, how the labour market has changed and a month-by-month graph of residents’ employment rates. The site also enables you to compare the statistics for any two cities or large towns. 

The cities and large towns are: Aberdeen, Aldershot, Barnsley, Basildon, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Burnley, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chatham, Coventry, Crawley, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Hull, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Luton, Manchester, Mansfield, Middlesborough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newport, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Sheffield, Slough, Southampton, Southend, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wakefield, Warrington, Wigan, Worthing and York. 

Data is sourced chiefly from the Official of National Statistics (ONS), with data on employees from PAYE. Additional information comes from employment company Indeed UK. 

In related news, data released in February showed that tech companies based in Manchester raised the highest amount of funding in the UK outside of London and the South East. 

Photo by Patrick Owen-Meehan.


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