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The number of people in employment consists of people aged 16 and over who did paid work (as an employee or self-employed), those who had a job that they were temporarily away from, those on government-supported training and employment programmes, and those doing unpaid family work.

Publications

BIS Private Sector Employment Indicator
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
The indicator is defined as the number of people employed by the private sector, as a proportion of the population aged 16-64 and those over 64 in the labour market. It provides an indication of whether private sector employment is growing to compensate for any decline in public sector employment across English regions. This measure helps to identify whether the economy is rebalancing between regions.
Business Register Employment Survey
Department: Office for National Statistics
BRES is the definitive source of official employee statistics and can be used to derive employment estimates at varying industrial and geographical levels.
Business Register and Employment Survey
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Employee Jobs at Sub Northern Ireland level and by Industry.
Census 2001 Commentaries by theme and region
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census paints a big picture of society and is a benchmark at the start of the 21st Century. Census 2001 commentaries look in a little more depth at the 'big picture' for the UK, and provide commentary on aspects of a topic in England and Wales as a whole, and on topics in Wales or the English regions. The counts that the commentaries are based on come from the Key Statistics for local authorities in England and Wales released in February 2003.
Census 2001 Key Statistics
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 Key Statistics series of reports provide a compact and self-contained reference of key results from the Census in an easily digestible form. Each report includes results for every topic covered by the Census, for a range of different geographical breakdowns of England and Wales.
Census 2001 Local Authority Profiles
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 population profiles collect key figures from the first major reports on the 2001 Census - the 'key statistics for local authorities in England and Wales' - originally released in February 2003. This snapshot of the resident population provides population totals by age and sex and summary profile information covering People, Places and Families, Ethnicity and Religion, Health, Work and Housing.
Census 2001 Local authority thematic maps
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 thematic maps illustrate the distribution of a selection of the key statistics from the Census, for local authorities throughout England and Wales.
Census 2001 National Report for England and Wales
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 National Report for England and Wales contains detailed statistical tables that cover the range of topics from the 2001 Census. Released in two parts, the report contains results for England and Wales as a whole, in a variety of tables. Standard tables provide cross-tabulation of two or more variables, theme tables bring together a range of results on a particular population and supplementary tables provide further information on some individual variables.
Census 2001 Report for Parliamentary Constituencies
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 Report for parliamentary constituencies provides a compact and self-contained reference of key results for constituencies throughout the UK. The constituency profiles are a summary of the main Census indicators for each consituency, with more detailed results available on the CD accompanying the printed report. Results are provided for European Electoral Regions, Scottish Parliamentary Regions and Parliamentary Constituencies in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Census 2001 Summary theme figures and rankings
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 Summary theme figures and rankings provide counts and rankings on aspects of a topic for each local authority in England and Wales. Each local authority has an England and Wales ranking, and local authorities are also grouped into Government Office Regions to provide a regional ranking. The counts and rankings are based on figures from the Key Statistics for local authorities in England and Wales which was originally released in February 2003.
Characteristics of young unemployed people
Department: Office for National Statistics
Characteristics of unemployed people aged 16 to 24.
Earnings by qualification in the UK
Department: Office for National Statistics
Differences in the median hourly earnings of employees depending on their highest level of qualification. 1993 and 2010 data are compared.
Employment in the Public Sector in Wales
Department: Welsh Government
This Statistical Bulletin presents data on employment in the public sector in Wales
Employment of Foreign Workers
Department: Office for National Statistics
This publication looks at the employment characteristics of Foreign Workers in the United Kingdom.
Employment rate gap between deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods
Department: Communities and Local Government
The employment rate in deprived neighbourhoods and non-deprived neighbourhoods from the Annual Population Survey.
English Business Survey
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
The English Business Survey provides a high level view of business and economic conditions across the country over a range of backward and forward looking directional indicators including output, stocks, employment, labour costs, output prices, hours, capital investment and capacity constraints.
GDP and the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Comparison of developments in GDP and the labour market in the latest quarter.
Graduates in the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Graduate unemployment over the recent past and the wages of graduates in the UK.
Index of Labour Cost per Hour (experimental)
Department: Office for National Statistics
Measures changes in the average labour costs per hour worked. Also known as Labour Costs Index (LCI).
Labour Force Survey Employment status by occupation
Department: Office for National Statistics
Labour Force Survey (LFS) data relating to employees, self-employed, full-time and part-time workers by occupation group (based on Standard Occupation Classification 2000) by sex.
Labour Force Survey Local Area Database (Northern Ireland)
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment).
Labour Force Survey Local Area Database (Northern Ireland)
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment).
Labour Force Survey Religion Report
Department: Office of the First and Deputy First Minister
To compare Roman Catholic and Protestant labour market outcomes.
Labour Market Statistics
Department: Office for National Statistics
Employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, claimant count, average earnings, labour productivity, vacancies and labour disputes statistics.
Labour Market Statistics Quarterly Supplement
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment).
Labour Market Statistics Quarterly Supplement
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment).
Labour market status for young people by ethnicity
Department: Office for National Statistics
Estimates of labour market status (employment, unemployment and inactivity) for all people, men and women aged 16 to 24 by ethnicity for Quarter 4 each year from 2006 to 2011.
Lifetime Opportunities Monitoring Framework
Department: Office of the First and Deputy First Minister
This report presents a range of statistical targets and indicators in support of the Northern Ireland Executive’s anti poverty and social inclusion strategy ‘Lifetime Opportunities'. The monitoring framework is structured around 3 ‘layers’: • Child poverty targets • Poverty and social inclusion indicators • Public service agreement targets Analyses of statistics are on a lifecycle basis and are benchmarked against other jurisdictions when possible
Local Area Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Presents a number of different indicators to give an overall picture of the labour market of local areas. Includes statistics relating to the employment, unemployment and benefit dependency of the resident population of the area; statistics relating to jobs and vacancies at workplaces in the area; and earnings statistics.
Measuring Sexual Identity : Evaluation Report
Department: Office for National Statistics
This is an evaluation based on the Integrated Household Survey (IHS) experimental data, collected between April 2009 - March 2010.
Mothers in the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Analysis of the employment trends and characteristics of working mothers, compared to women without children and working fathers.
Moving between Unemployment and Employment
Department: Office for National Statistics
This report examines how people move around the labour market between unemployment, employment and inactivity.
Non-UK born workers
Department: Office for National Statistics
Findings on the skill level of jobs held by workers who are not born in the UK including information on the changes in the number of non-UK born workers in the UK over the decade between 2001 and 2010.
Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Provides information on the value of the economic activity that businesses generate and associated expenditure across the main industrial sectors in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Provides information on the value of the economic activity that businesses generate and associated expenditure across the main industrial sectors in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Census of Employment
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Employee Jobs at Sub Northern Ireland level and by Industry.
Northern Ireland Census of Employment
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Employee Jobs at Sub Northern Ireland level and by Industry.
Northern Ireland Labour Market Report
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment, earnings).
Northern Ireland Labour Market Report
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment, earnings).
Older Workers in the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Findings on the skill level of jobs held by workers who are not born in the UK including information on the changes in the number of non-UK born workers in the UK over the decade between 2001 and 2010.
Proportion of Employee Jobs in BIS Priority Sectors
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
This publication was released in error. The information is now available in the publication "Proportion of Employee Jobs in Selected Industry Sectors by English NUTS Regions" released by BIS on 9 June 2011
Proportion of Employee Jobs in Selected Industry Sectors by English NUTS Regions
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
This data details the proportion of employee jobs in selected industry sectors by NUTS areas. Data is on a NUTS1 or NUT2 geographical level, depending on the availability of data at a lower spatial level. The data shows the share of jobs in each sector and can be used to understand the relative importance of sectors in each area. The sectors are aerospace & defence, automotive, chemicals, construction, information & communication, life sciences, metals, and retail & wholesale.
Public Sector Employment
Department: Office for National Statistics
This release contains detailed public sector employment estimates, updated quarterly. For most sources that contribute to these statistics, the employment is reported for a specific date in the quarter. The public sector comprises central government, local government and public corporations as defined for the UK National Accounts. Public sector employment estimates are provided on a headcount and full-time equivalent basis by sector and industry. Regional headcounts are also provided.
Quarterly Employment Survey (Northern Ireland)
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Quarterly Northern Ireland Employee Jobs series.
Quarterly Employment Survey (Northern Ireland)
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Quarterly Northern Ireland Employee Jobs series.
Reasons for leaving last job
Department: Office for National Statistics
Reasons why people left their previous jobs, focusing on whether the separation from the previous job was voluntary or involuntary. Trends in voluntary and involuntary job separations in the last decade are also examined.
Regional Economic Indicators
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Regional Economic Indicators examine regional differences within the UK economy. These are discussed via an ongoing series of articles focusing on the measurement of economic performance, welfare, productivity and the drivers of productivity across the UK regions. As well as providing the latest analysis of the relevant data, the articles examine the issues surrounding measurement at the regional level, in particular seeking to clarify the indicators best suited for different uses.
Regional labour market statistics
Department: Office for National Statistics
Official statistics on employment, unemployment, inactivity, jobs and the Claimant Count for regions, local authorities and parliamentary constituencies.
Self-employed workers in the UK
Department: Office for National Statistics
The characteristics of self-employed workers in April to June 2012. For example it looks at the hours worked, age and occupation of self-employed workers.
Sickness Absence in the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Analysis describing sickness absence rates of employees in the labour market
Sickness absence from work
Department: Office for National Statistics
Contains data and analysis looking at sickness absence by age and sex, age of youngest dependent child, region, occupation, workplace size and sector.
State of the Cities Database update
Department: Communities and Local Government
Indicators on employees.
The Productivity Conundrum
Department: Office for National Statistics
Additional economic analysis focusing on the interaction of GDP and the Labour Market.
The labour market across the UK in the current recession
Department: Office for National Statistics
Article on the labour market across the UK in the current recession
Tourism Employment Summaries
Department: Office for National Statistics
This release is part of a series of short articles about various aspects of employment in tourism characteristic industries in the UK.
UK Business: Activity, Size and Location
Department: Office for National Statistics
Tables on local units and enterprises by geography, industry, legal status and employment size band. Additional tables at enterprise level by age of business and turnover size band.
Underemployed Workers in the UK
Department: Office for National Statistics
This report examines the characteristics of workers who are underemployed, defined as those who want more hours in work.
Urban Rural Reports (Northern Ireland)
Department: Social Development (Northern Ireland)
Looks at data from the Family Resources Survey classified by urban/rural regions.
Women in Northern Ireland
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Statistics on women in Northern Ireland, labour market, childcare provision, earnings.
Women in Northern Ireland
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Statistics on women in Northern Ireland, labour market, childcare provision, earnings.
Women in the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
This report examines women in the labour market. For example it looks at employment rates, occupations, skill levels of jobs and pay for women and compares this with men. It also considers women with and without children.
Work and Worklessness among households
Department: Office for National Statistics
Information about households and the adults and children living in them, by their economic activity status. Regional differences across the UK will be provided.
Working and workless households
Department: Office for National Statistics
nformation about households and the adults and children living in them, by their economic activity status. Regional differences across the UK will be provided.
Workplacement Employment by Industry in Wales
Department: Welsh Government
This bulletin is based on statistics from three different sources that are already in the public domain, and provides estimates of workplace employment (or total jobs) in Wales.
Young people in work
Department: Office for National Statistics
The characteristics of employed people aged 16 to 24.
Young people not in employment, education or training in the UK
Department: Office for National Statistics
This release contains information on young people (those aged 16-24) not in employment, education or training (NEET's) within the UK.

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Overview

The number of people in employment in the UK is measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and consists of people aged 16 and over who did paid work (as an employee or self-employed), those who had a job that they were temporarily away from, those on government-supported training and employment programmes, and those doing unpaid family work. Employment levels and rates are published each month in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin.

Estimates are available by sex, by age and for full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Employment levels measure the total number of people estimated to be in employment while employment rates allow changes in the labour market to be interpreted in a wider context by allowing for changes in the population.

The headline measure of employment for the UK is the employment rate for those aged 16 to 64.

Estimates of employment are also available for Government Office Regions (GORs) and at local area level. Regional estimates of total employment are measured by the LFS while more disaggregated regional employment estimates and local area estimates are measured by the Annual Population Survey (APS). Estimates of employment levels and rates for the UK are available from 1971. Most other employment estimates are available from 1992.

The concept of employment lies on the supply side of the labour market framework, as it measures those people who supply their labour.

Employees are those who are in employment and paid a wage by an employer for the work that they do. This category may be further sub-divided into permanent and temporary employees. The self-employed are defined as those who, in their main job, work on their own account, whether or not they have employees.

Unpaid family workers are those whose work contributes directly to a business, owned or operated either by themselves or by a relative, but who receive no pay or profits for this work.

People on government-supported training schemes include those doing work experience with an employer and those engaged wholly in training.

Temporary workers are those employees who say that their main job is not permanent in one of the following ways: fixed period contract, agency temping, casual work, seasonal work or other temporary work. This is also based on respondents' self-assessment.

Data on people's reasons for engaging in part-time and temporary work provide information on the number of people who could not find full-time and permanent employment.

Employment is classified by occupation and industry. The LFS also allows analysis of the personal characteristics of those in employment such as their sex, age, ethnic group and highest qualification.

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Technical Data

Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the largest regular household survey in the UK. The survey covers people resident in private households, National Health Service (NHS) accommodation and student halls of residence. It does not cover any other communal establishments. LFS interviews are conducted continuously throughout the year.

In any three-month period, a nationally representative sample of approximately 120,000 people aged 16 and over in around 50,000 households is interviewed. Each household is interviewed five times, at three monthly intervals. The initial interview is conducted face-to-face by an interviewer visiting the address, except for residences north of the Caledonian Canal in Scotland (where face-to-face-interviews would be prohibitively expensive).

The other interviews are conducted by telephone wherever possible. The survey asks a series of questions about respondents’ personal circumstances and their labour market activity. The survey is conducted in five ‘waves’ so that in any one quarter, one wave will be receiving their first interview, one wave their second, and so on, with one wave receiving their fifth and final interview. Therefore, there is an 80 per cent overlap in the samples for each successive quarter.

Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal movements can occur in labour market data for a number of reasons including holidays and recruitment patterns. For example, a large number of people leave full-time education and enter the labour market in the summer. To make it easier to identify the underlying movements in the labour market, changes due solely to seasonal influences are removed from many series. This process is known as seasonal adjustment. LFS estimates are seasonally adjusted using the X-12 ARIMA package developed by Statistics Canada. The seasonal adjustment of LFS data is usually reviewed annually.

Sampling Variability

Survey estimates are prone to sampling variability. The easiest way to explain this is by example. In the April to June 2008 period, there were estimated to be 29,558,000 people aged 16 and over in employment in the UK, according to the LFS (seasonally adjusted). These figures were published in August 2008.

If we drew another sample for the same period we could get a different result, which could be higher or lower. In theory, we could draw many samples, and each would give a different result. The spread of these results leads to sampling variability. Once we know the sampling variability we can calculate a range of values about the sample estimate that represents the expected variation with a given level of assurance.

This is called a confidence interval. For a 95 per cent confidence interval we expect that, in 95 per cent of the samples, the confidence interval will contain the true value of employment that would have been obtained by surveying the entire population. For example, for April to June 2008, we can be 95 per cent confident that the true level of employment was within 140,000 of the estimate of 29,558,000 (that is, within the range 29,418,000 to 29,698,000).

Sampling variability also affects changes over time. Changes in employment between three-month periods are rarely greater than the level that is explainable by sampling variability. It is estimated that the number of people aged 16 and over in employment in the UK increased by 20,000 between January to March 2008 and April to June 2008 (seasonally adjusted).

We can be 95 per cent confident that the true change lies in the range between a decrease of 81,000 and an increase of 121,000. It is more likely that employment increased, rather than decreased. In general, the larger the number of people in the sample, the smaller the variation between estimates.

Estimates based on the LFS for the whole of the UK are therefore more accurate than those for smaller geographical areas. Indications of sampling variability for national and regional LFS data are given in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin.

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Glossary

  • Annual Population Survey (APS)

    The Annual Population Survey is similar to the Labour Force Survey (LFS). It started in January 2004 and is compiled by taking data from the four calendar quarters of the LFS and combining them with additional samples of interviews.

  • Duration of Employment (Job Tenure)

    Duration of employment, often referred to as job tenure, can be viewed in two ways. Firstly, it can refer to the length of time an individual spends in continuous employment, regardless of whether they are with the same employer. Alternatively, it can refer to the length of time the individual remains with the same employer, either in the same job or in different positions within the organisation. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks a number of questions in order to collect the time periods for which respondents have been with their current and/or previous employer.

  • Employment

    The number of people in employment is measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and consists of people aged 16 and over who did paid work (as an employee or self-employed), those who had a job that they were temporarily away from, those on government-supported training and employment programmes, and those doing unpaid family work.

  • Employment rate

    The headline employment rate is calculated by dividing the employment level for those aged 16-64 by the population for that age group.

  • Full-time and part-time

    In the Labour Force Survey (LFS), respondents are asked to self-classify their main job as either full-time or part-time. However, people on government supported employment and training programmes who are at college in the reference week are classified, by convention, as part-time. In employer surveys, jobs are generally classified as being part-time if the contracted hours of work are 30 hours or less per week.

  • Job related training

    Job related training is a combination of work and preparing for work. It includes on the job training, training away from the job and pre-employment training.

  • Labour Force Survey (LFS)

    The main source for information on the labour market in the UK. It is a random household survey of approximately 50,000 households every three months conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). As well as private households, the survey includes people living in student halls of residence and National Health Service (NHS) accommodation.

  • Occupation

    The type of job done by a worker can be classified into a particular occupational group. Occupations are coded according to the current Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). SOC 2000 was created by classifying jobs in terms of their skill level and skill content. Skill is defined by the nature and duration of the qualifications, training and work experience required to perform a particular job.

  • Rates

    Generally the preferred measure of Labour market statistics as they allow changes in the labour market to be interpreted in a wider context by allowing for changes in the overall population.

  • Second Job

    A second job is any form of work additional to a person's main job. This second job could be as an employee or self-employed, regardless of the status of their main job. Information on second jobs is important since it provides a fuller picture of employment characteristics for employees with more than one job. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks similar questions regarding a respondent's second job as it does for their main job. These questions allow information to be gathered on the industry, occupation and employment status of those with second jobs. Some people have two part-time jobs of approximately the same number of hours per week. In this case, it is at the respondent's discretion as to which is their second job and which is their main job.

  • Self Employed sole proprietors and partners

    Many self-employed people report they have sole proprietorship of a business or are in partnership. Those who work alone are classified as sole proprietors of their business, meaning one person owns and holds all assets of the business and generated profits. Sole proprietors have control and, within constraints of the law, may make decisions as they choose. They receive all income generated by the business to keep or re-invest. Sole proprietors assume complete responsibility for liabilities and debts. Self-employed partners share ownership of a single business. Like proprietorships, the law does not distinguish between the business and its owners and generally, partners are responsible for the management and liability of the company, as well as for the share of profit or loss.

  • Short Term Employment Survey (STES)

    The Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES) collect information on the number of employees on a quarterly basis. The surveys are also used to collect turnover information (on a monthly basis), used in the compilation of National Accounts. The STES do not cover the agriculture, fishing, and construction industries, due to the high costs associated with surveying the large number of small businesses in these sectors. The reference point for the surveys is the second Friday in the month. The STES are the primary source for employee jobs estimates, which feed into the Workforce Jobs series. The estimates of short-term change are benchmarked to the Business Register Employment Survey (BRES), formerly known as the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI), each year to maintain consistency with annual employment estimates.

  • Sickness absence

    This refers to the time an employee is away from their job due to sickness or injury. A period of sickness absence can last any amount of time. Information on sickness absence is important, as employers are increasingly becoming aware of the costs of absence to their organisations. Costs include statutory sick pay, cost of replacement staff and loss of output, as well as indirect costs, for example, if continued, absence could lead to low morale among the workforce. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) collects information from respondents on whether they were absent due to sickness or injury during the week in question. From this information, an estimate of the number and proportion of working days lost due to sickness absence can be calculated.

  • Trade Union Membership

    Trade unions usually consist of workers of similar trades and are formed for the purpose of advancing members' interests (for example, through collective bargaining) concerning wages, benefits and working conditions. A union member is therefore a person who is a member of such a union. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks respondents whether they, or others at their workplace, are members of a trade union or staff association. Respondents are also asked whether agreements between these bodies and the employers affect pay and conditions. A second source of trade union membership data is from annual returns from the trade unions submitted to the Certification Officer.

  • Types of self employment

    Those who own and operate their own business or professional practice, sometimes in conjunction with a partner, are considered as self-employed. However, it is also possible to be classed as self-employed when on the government-sponsored New Deal scheme. This scheme provides funds for unemployed people to help them start up as self-employed. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks a number of questions to establish a person's employment status. This is based on a respondent's own opinion of whether they are an employee or self-employed. A question on assisted self-employment is asked specifically of people who have said that they are on the New Deal scheme.

  • Work pattern

    Work pattern is a similar concept to full-time/part-time status and the number of hours worked in that it refers to the schedule of hours that a person works in their employment. Work patterns can differ in a number of ways. Two people working the same number of hours during a given reference period may differ in their work schedules. Examples of working patterns include, regular daytime or nightime hours, shift work, weekend work, etc. There are also situations where working hours are split in the course of the day by long pauses, usually known as a 'split shift'. This is particularly common in countries with a hot climate and for people working in social care or for public transport. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks respondents questions including whether their main job involves shift work or flexible working hours. Other questions include whether respondents have a zero hours contract and whether their job involves job sharing.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Labour Market Statistics Team

Email: labour.market@ons.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 455839

Labour Market Statistics Team Office For National Statistics Government Buildings Cardiff Road Newport NP10 8XG

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