Employment Trends across Great Britain between 2015 and 2018

Briefing paper

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released new jobs figures for 2018 as part of the Business Register & Employment Survey (BRES). The data present a more up to date picture of employment trends in Great Britain and this note summarises the main findings, looking at trends in the labour market since 2015.

Total Employment

  • Between 2015 and 2018, employment in Great Britain increased by 996,000 (1.1% growth per annum). Table 1 shows the jobs change broken down by region over this timeframe. The main points to note are:In relative terms, the East of England saw the highest jobs growth between 2015 and 2018, experiencing an annual increase of 1.9% followed by the North West (1.7% increase per annum). In absolute terms, London saw the highest growth, with 200,000 new jobs between 2015 and 2018, followed by the North West with an increase of 168,000.
  • The North East saw a decrease in employment of 10,000 jobs, equating to an annual decline of 0.3%. Scotland and the South East both saw increases in employment over the three years of 0.6% per annum (48,000 and 79,000 additional jobs respectively).

A table about jobs change by region for 2015-18 can be found on the pdf, which can be downloaded using the link at the bottom of the page.

Looking at jobs growth between 2015 and 2018 across Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) areas, Hertfordshire LEP area saw the largest relative increase in jobs at 3.4% per annum between 2015 and 2018 (63,000 jobs in total). In relative terms, Hertfordshire LEP was closely followed by Greater Manchester LEP with a 2.8% increase in jobs per annum (110,000 additional jobs over the three years). Tees Valley was the only LEP to experience a decrease in jobs between 2015 and 2018 of 1.4% (a loss of 11,000 jobs over the three years).

Employment by Sector

Percentage Annual Employment Change (2015-2018)

Table 2 shows jobs growth between 2015 and 2018 by broad sector in Great Britain. The main points to note are:

In relative terms, the accommodation and food services sector saw the highest annual increase in jobs between 2015 and 2018 at 2.5% (166,000 new jobs), closely followed by the construction sector at 2.4% growth per annum (102,000 jobs).

In absolute terms, the business, financial and professional services sector saw the largest growth of 302,000 jobs over the three years, equating to an annual growth rate of 1.5%.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, jobs in the wholesale and retail sector increased by only 0.1% per annum, equating to an additional 9,000 jobs between 2015 and 2018.

To view the image to the left, you can download this briefing note below.

A table about jobs growth by sector in Great Britain for 2015-18 can be found in our pdf using the link at the bottom of the page.

This briefing paper was written by Richard Cook, Director – Economics; Andrew Poulton, Principal Economic Analyst and Emily Hall – Economic Analyst. This paper can downloaded here. Should you any questions about the updated BRES data, please contact us.

Additional Information

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