SINePost newsletter - December 2014
In this issue ...
- SINePost Reader Survey
- Economic Characteristics of Migrant Populations
- Workless Households
- Ex-Service Community survey
- Service and Civilian Personnel statistics
- Excess Winter Mortality
- Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014
- Business Births and Deaths
- Housing Benefit and Spare Room Subsidy caseloads
- Proposed Changes to the Index of Multiple Deprivation
- What's New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. SINePost Reader Survey
As the year draws to a close and we look ahead to 2015 we’d appreciate your feedback on the content and value of the SINePost newsletter over the last year. Please take a few moments to complete our very brief online survey to aid our future plans, at:
2. Economic Characteristics of Migrant Populations
Somerset residents born in ‘new EU’ states are less likely to be unemployed than their counterparts born in the UK or anywhere else, according to figures from the last census. Around 3.2% of economically active Somerset residents born in ‘new EU’ (post-2001) countries were unemployed at the time of the census, compared to 4.8% for the rest of the European Union, and 5.0% for UK born residents.
The figures are part of a wider analysis into the social and economic characteristics and length of residence of migrant populations: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census-analysis/social-and-economic-characteristics-by-length-of-residence-of-migrant-populations-in-england-and-wales/index.html
Meanwhile, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveal that between January and September 2014, a total of 604 Romanians and Bulgarians registered for a National Insurance number in Somerset, following the ending of transitional employment restrictions on 1st January. This represented around 30% of all registrations to overseas nationals during the period, slightly above the proportion seen nationally.
3. Workless Households
The number of workless households in Somerset continues to decline according to figures published from the Annual Population Survey: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/workless-households-for-regions-across-the-uk/workless-households-for-regions-across-the-uk--2013/index.html
An estimated 14.9% of Somerset households were workless in 2013, down from 16.4% in 2012, and down from a recent peak of 19.0% in 2010 at the height of the economic recession. A workless household is defined as one which includes at least one person aged 16-64 and where no-one aged 16 or over is in work.
Somerset is broadly in line with the South West average in terms of workless households and below the national average (of 16.7%). The Annual Population Survey also assesses reasons for not working - data is not published at local authority level but for the South West region sickness or disability is the most common factor (26%), followed by retirement (24%) and unemployment (15%).
4. Ex-Service Community survey
The Royal British Legion has published the results of a survey into the welfare of the ex-Service community: www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/news/campaigning/new-research-reveals-needs-of-uks-ex-service-community
Around 5% of the UK adult population are estimated to be service veterans; while the wider ex-Service ‘community’ (which includes spouses and widows) accounts for 9% of the adult population. Nearly half are aged 75 or over.
Many of the problems faced by the increasingly elderly ex-Service population are similar to those faced by the UK’s elderly as a whole: isolation, physical health problems and difficulties with mobility and care.
The survey also highlights specific issues which affect the working age ex-Service community disproportionately. Compared to the general population the ex-Service community aged 16-64 are much more likely to have unpaid caring responsibilities (23% vs 12%), and are more likely to be unemployed (8% vs 5%). Working age veterans are also much more likely to report a long term illness that limits their activities (24% v 13%).
5. Service and Civilian Personnel statistics
Latest data from the Ministry of Defence indicates that there are currently 2,820 military personnel and 1,550 civilian personnel in Somerset (as at 1st October 2014). This represents a fall of around 300 MoD personnel in the last year: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/location-of-uk-regular-service-and-civilian-personnel-quarterly-statistics-2014
Somerset has the fourth highest concentration of MoD personnel in the South West, after Wiltshire, Plymouth and South Gloucestershire.
6. Excess Winter Mortality
The estimated number of excess winter deaths in Somerset in 2012/13 was around double that seen the previous year according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Nationally, the increase was around 30%, driven by higher numbers of deaths in March 2013, linked to unusually cold temperatures that month.
While local authority estimates for the latest winter period, 2013/14, will not be published until the end of next year, provisional figures for England and Wales as a whole suggest that excess winter deaths in 2013/14 were the lowest since records began in 1950/51.
For further details, including the definition of excess winter mortality, see: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health2/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2013-14--provisional--and-2012-13--final-/index.html
7. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014
Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in Somerset increased by 1.7% to £489 in 2014 in provisional estimates from the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE): www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ashe/annual-survey-of-hours-and-earnings/2014-provisional-results/index.html
The distribution of earnings sees the bottom 10% of full-time employees in Somerset earn less than £282 per week. At the other end of the distribution, the top 10% of full-time employees earned more than £918.
Meanwhile the figures suggest that the ‘gender pay gap’, based on median hourly earnings excluding overtime, continues to widen in Somerset, from 14.7% in 2013 to 18.3% in 2014. Nationally the gender pay gap, at 9.4%, is at its lowest since comparable records began in 1997.
8. Business Births and Deaths
The number of active enterprises in Somerset increased for the first time since 2008 in the latest annual Business Demography dataset from the Office for National Statistics (ONS): www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/bus-register/business-demography/2013/index.html
There were 2,355 new businesses formed in Somerset in 2013, a ‘birth rate’ of 11.2%. Meanwhile, 1,810 businesses closed, a ‘death rate’ of 8.6%. Somerset continues to see a lower business birth rate and also a lower death rate than the UK as a whole.
9. Housing Benefit and Spare Room Subsidy caseloads
The number of Housing Benefit claimants in Somerset is at its lowest level since October 2011 in latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions. There were 35,078 claimants in August 2014, down from a peak of 36,662 in January 2013.
A total of 2,497 claimants received reduced Housing Benefit payment as a result of the Spare Room Subsidy Reduction (also known as the ‘bedroom tax’) in August 2014. This represents a 13% reduction on the number affected at the same time a year earlier - likely to be linked, at least in part, to people being able to downsize to smaller properties.
10. Proposed changes to the Index of Multiple Deprivation
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have published proposed changes to the English Indices of Deprivation, including the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), due for publication in summer 2015.
The fundamental structure is due to remain the same, but some indicators from the previous IMD 2010 will go, some added in and other refined. A consultation on the proposed changes runs until 19th December. Further details are available at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/updating-the-english-indices-of-deprivation
11. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
In line with the current Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) focus on Somerset’s rural communities, the following resources have been updated in the last month:
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during December:
- Local authority housing statistics: year ending March 2014 (DCLG)
- Use of Discretionary Housing Payments: April to September 2014
- 2011 Census: small population tables for England and Wales (ONS)
- 2011 Census analysis, changes in the older care home resident population at local authority level: 2001 to 2011 (ONS)
- Primary and Secondary School Performance Tables 2014 (DfE)
- Sub-national electricity consumption during 2013 (DECC)
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