1. Jobs Density estimates
There are estimated to be the equivalent of 0.86 jobs for every Somerset resident aged 16-64 according to latest annual (2016) jobs density figures from the Office for National Statistics. This represents an increase on the 0.84 jobs per working-age resident a year earlier.
Within Somerset, West Somerset district has the highest jobs density (0.96), followed by Taunton Deane (0.95), South Somerset (0.88), Mendip (0.87) and Sedgemoor (0.71).
A jobs density of 1.00 means that there is one job for every resident aged 16 to 64. Within the South West region, only Exeter, Cheltenham, Poole, West Dorset, North Devon, Cotswold and the Isles of Scilly have a jobs density figure of 1.00 or greater.
2. Historical out-of-work Claimant Count
The Office for National Statistics has updated its out-of-work ‘Claimant Count’ data to provide continuous monthly figures from 1986 to present, available through its Nomis website:
The Claimant Count is a hybrid measure combining Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants and out-of-work Universal Credit claimants. Prior to 2013, the Claimant Count was purely JSA claimants.
Latest figures indicate that in December 2017, Somerset’s Claimant Count stood at 6,295, representing its highest level since May 2013. A rise in the Claimant Count had been anticipated following the roll out of Universal Credit, with a broader span of claimants required to look for work under Universal Credit than was the case under Jobseeker's Allowance.
Note that there is no direct link between the Claimant Count and Jobs Density estimates (above), with South Somerset currently having the lowest Claimant Count rate (per head of population aged 16-64) in Somerset. There are significant commuter flows between local authority areas.
3. Destinations of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils
The Department for Education has released final estimates of the proportions of school and college-leavers staying on in education or going into employment or training.
In summary, for 2015/16:
- Overall, 95% of Somerset pupils were in sustained education, employment or training in the year after key stage 4, above the national average proportion of 94%
- 89% of Somerset students were in sustained education or employment after key stage 5, in line with the national average.
- 85% of disadvantaged Somerset students (those in care or in receipt of free school meals) were in sustained education, or employment after key stage 5, compared to 89% of their peers. This mirrored the national picture.
4. Rough Sleeping estimates
The number of people sleeping rough in Somerset has increased according to figures published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-in-england-autumn-2017
Local authorities in Somerset estimated the number of rough sleepers in 2017 (as of autumn that year) to be 57. This compared to 48 in 2016 and 56 in 2015. The highest numbers of rough sleepers in 2017 were in Taunton Deane (23) and Mendip (19) districts.
Of the estimated 57 rough sleepers in 2017; two were female, two were aged under 25, and one was a non-UK national from within the EU.
Nationally, the overall number of rough sleepers continues to increase (up 15% between 2016 and 2017).
5. Council Tax Base: Dwelling numbers
There are a total of 254,363 dwellings in Somerset according to annual council tax base figures (as at September 2017) published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/council-taxbase-2017-in-england
The figures reveal:
- A total of 80,971 dwellings in Somerset were entitled to a council tax discount as a result of being occupied by single adults. This represented 32% of all dwellings.
- There were 5,335 empty dwellings in September 2017, and of these 559 were being charged a premium because the dwelling had been empty for two years of more.
- There were 3,108 dwellings recorded as second homes, a third of which were located in West Somerset. Approximately 5% of dwellings in West Somerset are second homes, compared to 1% in all other Somerset districts.
6. Small Area Domestic Electricity and Gas consumption estimates
Latest estimates from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy demonstrate wide variations in household energy consumption. The estimates are available for every LSOA (Lower-layer Super Output Area) and are aimed at supporting local energy efficiency and carbon reduction schemes.
Areas with the highest average electricity usage are predominantly rural. In 2016, overall mean domestic electricity consumption was 40% higher in Somerset’s villages and hamlets than in urban areas (5,431 kWh per electricity meter compared to 3,605 kWh per meter). Similarly, mean domestic gas consumption was around 34% higher in rural villages and hamlets than in urban areas of Somerset (14,765 kWh per meter compared to 10,506 kWh per meter).
For the full datasets, see:
7. Household Solar Energy statistics
Nearly 1 in 20 households in Somerset now have photovoltaic (solar energy) installations according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The Feed-in-Tariff scheme (FITs) pays households a tariff for the electricity they generate: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/sub-regional-feed-in-tariffs-confirmed-on-the-cfr-statistics
As at December 2017, there were 12,421 domestic photovoltaic (solar energy) installations in Somerset, an increase of just under 300 on the figure a year earlier. At a district level, West Somerset has the highest rate of installations (621 per 10,000 households) and South Somerset the lowest (487 per 10,000). The South West region has by far the highest rate of installations of any region in England, linked to its favourable climate.
8. Walking and Cycling Statistics
Somerset residents are more likely to participate in cycling than their national counterparts according to figures from the Department for Transport, based on Sport England’s Active Lives Survey (for 2015/16). Participation rates in respect of walking are broadly in line with national averages.
- An estimated 13.3% of Somerset residents cycle at least once a week, compared to 11.9% in England as a whole. The higher Somerset rate is largely due to people who cycle for leisure purposes (as opposed to travel/work reasons).
- An estimated 68.6% of Somerset residents walk at least one a week (continuously, for at least 10 minutes), compared to 68.0% nationally. Walking for leisure purposes is higher in Somerset but this is offset by lower proportions walking for travel/work.
For the full dataset, see:
9. Severe Childhood Obesity statistics
Public Health England has added data on severe childhood obesity to its National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) Local Authority Profiles for the first time, with the aim of presenting stakeholders with the complete picture on overweight and obese children.
Rates of severe obesity in Somerset are below national averages. In summary:
- 1.9% of Reception age children in Somerset (ages 4-5) where measured as severely obese in 2016/17, equating to 102 children. This compared with 2.4% of children nationally.
- 2.7% of Year 6 children in Somerset (ages 10-11) were measured as severely obese, equating to 135 children. This compared to 4.1% of Year 6 children nationally.
10. Count of Traveller Caravans
The number of traveller caravans located in Somerset has remained broadly unchanged in the latest six-monthly count published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government:
In July 2017 there were an estimated 537 traveller caravans located in Somerset, compared to 542 caravans at the same time in 2016, and 534 caravans in July 2015.
Mendip continues to account for more than half (55%) of traveller caravans in Somerset, with Taunton Deane the next most common location (23% of caravans).
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during February:
- Benefit cap: number of households capped to November 2017 (DWP)
- National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals to December 2017 (DWP)
- Public health outcomes framework: February 2018 data update (PHE)
- Local tobacco control profiles for England: February 2018 update (PHE)
- Local Alcohol Profiles for England: February 2018 update (PHE)
- Marriages in England and Wales: 2015 (ONS)