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Employment, Unemployment and Gender


There are some notable differences between males and females when it comes to labour force data for Somerset, most notably regarding levels of unemployment and self-employment.

The charts above compare labour force data for males and females in Somerset, and UK. -Chart 1 Employment Rate, Chart 2 % who are Economically Inactive and Chart 3 Unemployment Rate

The Annual Population Survey (APS) has the largest coverage of any household survey, which includes population, economic activity, economic inactivity and qualifications covering the UK.  It uses data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).  Datasets contain 12 months of data broken down on a quarterly basis, with a sample size of approximately 320,000 respondents.

The gender gap in unemployment is defined as the difference between female and male unemployment rates.

The latest unemployment rates (June 2021) for Somerset were higher for women 5% (6,000 unemployed) than men 2.7% (3,500 unemployed).  The female unemployment was 1.2 percentage points higher than Somerset’s unemployment. This is not the same regionally or nationally.  Female unemployment has been lower nationally for several years.

Employment has generally been decreasing and unemployment increasing since the start of the pandemic.   Employment rates for males are generally higher than females.  The difference within Somerset is notably greater, with a male employment rate of 78.7% compared to a female employment rate of 71.7%.  The economic activity rate for somerset has decreased over the last year to 79%.

Somerset’s Economically inactive population has increased over the last year.  The percentage of female inactivity (24.5%) has been consistently higher than that of men (19.1%) over the years in Somerset.  Whereas regionally and nationally there is a much starker difference. Indeed, at the UK level, the inactivity rate for males (18.1%) is almost 7.3 percentage points lower than it is for females (25.4%).

A higher proportion of men (13.4%) than women (5.8%) are self-employed in Somerset, whereas a higher percentage of women (65.9%) are classed as employees in Somerset.

For definitions of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity, please see the separate page on ‘Employment’.

Source: ONS, NOMIS, Annual Population Survey July 2020 – June 2021.