SINePost newsletter - January 2014
In this issue ...
- Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2013
- Census: Labour Market statistics
- Census: Qualifications statistics
- Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2013 report
- DWP Benefits Expenditure
- Discretionary Housing Payments
- National Housing Federation: Home Truths 2013/14 report
- New Homes Bonus grants
- Domestic Gas and Electricity Consumption statistics
- General Practice (GP) Profiles refresh
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2013
The latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) has been published by the Office for National Statistics; providing provisional information about the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings for employees in all industries (as of April 2013): www.nomisweb.co.uk/articles/793.aspx
The mean annual pay (gross) in Somerset according to ASHE 2013 is £23,546, a slight fall (-0.5%) on the figure for 2012. At a district level, mean pay in Somerset ranges from £20,653 in West Somerset to £24,828 in Sedgemoor.
The gender pay gap in Somerset widened slightly from 13.1% in 2012 to 14.7% in 2013. Nationally, the gender pay gap was 11.5% in 2013. (The pay gap is defined as the difference between men's and women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings based on median gross hourly earnings for full-time employees.)
2. Census: Labour Market statistics
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released detailed multivariate data (i.e., information split by age, gender, ethnicity, language proficiency, etc.) from the 2011 Census on the economic activity of the population: www.nomisweb.co.uk/articles/790.aspx
- Just over half of young people (aged 16-21) working in Somerset are employed in either the ‘wholesale and retail’ or ‘food and accommodation’ sectors.
- There are just under 13,000 workers in Somerset aged 65 or over. The ‘wholesale and retail’ sector is the most common area of employment for those aged 65 or over.
- A relatively high proportion of people from ethnic minority groups are employed in either the ‘food and accommodation’ or ‘health and social work’ sectors.
- In the ‘health and social work’ sector, women employees outnumber men by a factor of 4 to 1. In the construction industry, men outnumber women by 10 to 1.
- At the time of the Census, 1,875 Somerset workers whose main language was not English could not speak English well (or at all). Most commonly, these residents were employed in the manufacturing industry.
3. Census: Qualifications statistics
The Office for National Statistics has now published multivariate data looking at residents’ highest level of qualification: www.nomisweb.co.uk/articles/794.aspx
At the time of the Census, 30% of economically active Somerset residents (i.e., those in work, or looking for work) held a Level 4 (degree or equivalent) qualification. Around 10% of economically active residents did not hold any formal qualification.
The figures suggest that the likelihood of being in employment increases with increasing levels of qualification: around 91% of economically active people in Somerset with no qualification are employed, rising steadily to 98% of those with a Level 4 (degree or equivalent) qualification.
In some parts of Somerset, around 1 in 3 adult residents do not hold a formal qualification, most notably in the Bridgwater wards of Hamp and Dunwear. Conversely, the ward of Rode and Norton St Philip in Mendip is the most ‘qualified’ in Somerset, having the highest proportion of its residents with at least a Level 4 qualification.
4. Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2013 report
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published its latest review of poverty in the UK, featuring analysis of low income, unemployment, low pay, homelessness and ill health: www.jrf.org.uk/publications/monitoring-poverty-and-social-exclusion-2013
Key findings include:
- more than half of people living in poverty in the UK in 2011/12 were in a working family;
- while the labour market has shown signs of revival in the last year, the number of people in low-paid jobs has risen and average incomes have fallen;
- there is substantial movement in and out of work (nationally, 4.8 million different people have claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance in the last two years);
- the proportion of pensioners in poverty is at its lowest for almost 30 years, but the proportion of working-age adults without children in poverty is the highest on record.
5. DWP Benefits Expenditure
Benefit expenditure in Somerset has increased by an average of 8% each year over the last ten years according to latest local authority area figures published by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). This trend mirrors increases seen nationally: www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-2013
A total of £1,433 million was paid in welfare benefits in Somerset during 2012/13, with the largest contributions going to the State Pension (59% of expenditure), followed by Housing Benefit (11%).
6. Discretionary Housing Payments
Around 790 Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) were awarded by Somerset local authorities in the six month period to September 2013 according to new figures released by the Department for Work Pensions (DWP). The information is intended to provide a picture of how DHP funding is being used to support people affected by welfare reforms, and the choices people make in response to reforms: www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments
Removal of the spare room subsidy and Local Housing Allowance reforms were the most common reason for discretionary payments being made in Somerset (58% and 26% of payments respectively). The majority of awards were made to help with short-term rental costs until such time as the claimant was able to: move to alternative accommodation (291 payments); find employment (139 payments); or for any other reason (318 payments).
7. National Housing Federation: Home Truths 2013/14 report
The cost of privately renting a home in the South West is forecast to increase by 40% between 2013 and 2020 according to the latest annual ‘Home Truths’ report from the National Housing Federation. House prices are forecast to increase by 33% over the same period. See: www.housing.org.uk/publications/browse/home-truths-2013-14
Within Somerset, Taunton Deane and Mendip districts are forecast to see the biggest increases in house prices, and also the largest increases in private rents over the coming years. An interactive local authority-level map is available at: www.housing.org.uk/media/home-truths/interactive-map-home-truths-in-your-area
8. New Homes Bonus grants
Councils in Somerset have been awarded £26.8 million through the New Homes Bonus, according to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The New Homes Bonus grant is paid by central government to local councils for increasing the number of homes and their use: www.gov.uk/government/policies/increasing-the-number-of-available-homes/supporting-pages/new-homes-bonus
The details of the latest payments show that over the first four years of the programme, Somerset councils have been rewarded for building 8,800 new homes and bringing 2,900 empty homes back into use.
9. Domestic Gas & Electricity Consumption statistics
Average domestic gas consumption in Somerset decreased by 28% between 2005 and 2012 according to estimates released by the Department for Energy and Climate Control (DECC). Over the same period, average domestic electricity consumption fell by around 14%. See:
Gas consumption: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/gas-sales-and-numbers-of-customers-by-region-and-local-authority
Electricity consumption: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/regional-and-local-authority-electricity-consumption-statistics-2005-to-2011
There are a number of factors which may have contributed to these reductions in consumption, including; weather conditions, energy efficiency improvements, such as increased levels of insulation, new boilers and more energy efficient appliances; increased prices and the recession; and changes in the building stock and household composition.
Meanwhile, domestic fuel prices continue to rise. Nationally, the average domestic gas bill rose by £54 between 2012 and 2013, to £854. At the same time, the average domestic electricity bill rose by £31, to £510.
10. General Practice (GP) Profiles refresh
Public Health England (PHE) has now refreshed its national GP Practice Profiles with 2012 to 2013 data. The profiles bring together a wide range of information to give an overview of the health needs and priorities for each GP practice in England.
The current refresh includes the latest Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) data, which were released at the end of October. Other data sources include the GP Patient Survey and the Attribution Dataset of GP Registered Populations. See: http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/general-practice
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following datasets are due for release at sub-regional geographies during January:
- Dwelling Stock Estimates, England – 2013 (DCLG)
- 2011 Census - Local Characteristics on Housing for Output Areas in England and Wales (ONS)
- 2011 Census - Local Characteristics on Demography and Families for Output Areas in England and Wales
- Crime Statistics - period ending September 2013 (ONS)
- GCSE and Equivalent Results, England - 2012 to 2013 (Revised) (DfE)
- Attainment by Pupil Characteristics - GCSE and Equivalent, England - 2012/13 (DfE)
- Performance Tables in England: - Secondary School (Key Stage 4/5) 2012/13 (DfE)