Replacement demand set to be key source of jobs in West Midlands over next 5 years

An under–representation of higher value added sectors means that the pace of economic growth in the West Midlands over the next 5 years is forecast to be modest. Only 11,000 net new jobs (representing growth of 5% in total employment) are expected to be created between 2010 and 2015.

But the Observatory’s new report The West Midlands economy post recession: key issues and challenges (pdf, 844kb) predicts an additional 860,000 job vacancies are expected to arise between 2010-2015 due to ‘replacement demand.’

It’s estimated that nearly 510,000 jobs (58% of all job vacancies) will be due to labour turnover and more than 350,000 jobs (40% of all vacancies) will be due to older workers retiring.

Pie chart shows overall job vacancies forecast in West Midlands between 2010 and 2015

Text description of this chart available. Chart prepared by West Midlands Regional Observatory based on Cambridge Econometrics forecasts and Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey.

Replacement demand is forecast to be more significant in traditional private sector industries and public sector activities which have an ageing workforce. For example:

  • 59,000 vacancies are expected to arise in manufacturing
  • 50,000 vacancies are expected to arise in engineering
  • 37,000 vacancies are expected to arise in construction

In health and social care, meanwhile, nearly 70,000 vacancies are expected to arise. The figure is more than 45,000 in education and more than 30,000 in public administration.

Many of the jobs on offer due to retirements are likely to require specific skills, qualifications and experience. Around 90% of these jobs are expected to be filled by people already in employment.

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Research published on prospects for the West Midlands economy post recession

Report cover: The West Midlands economy post recessionAt the end of June, the Observatory published The West Midlands Economy Post Recession: Key Issues and Challenges (pdf, 844kb), a major piece of research exploring the changing needs of the region’s economy and labour market as it emerges from recession.

The research is informing the decisions of employers, individuals, providers and the skills system as they look to focus their investment in key areas to maximise impact.

Firstly, the research considers the region’s recent poor economic performance and the key factors that have contributed to this.

We detail the weaknesses within the region’s economic structure and, in particular, the dependence on public sector and lower value added private sector activities, in terms of GVA and jobs, and the limited representation of high value added, knowledge-based sectors.

We also highlight the low rates of productivity in many of the sectors that dominate the regional economy and assess the skill gaps and shortages businesses in the West Midlands face and the impact on productivity and performance.

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West Midlands population estimated to have grown to 5.431 million in 2009

Office for National StatisticsThe population of the West Midlands grew at a lower annual rate than that for England in 2009, according to the latest population estimates released by the Office for National Statistics.

With a population of 5.431 million, the region’s population grew by 0.4 per cent (23,000) on the preceding year.

Natural change (birth minus deaths) was the most significant contributor to the growth at 20,000, whereas net migration accounted for the remainder, and with a value of 3,000, was the lowest of any nation or region in the UK.

Locally within the West Midlands region, the most significant increases in population (in absolute terms) were recorded in:

  • Birmingham  – up 10,000 to 1.029 million
  • Coventry – up 2,000 to 313,000
  • Sandwell – up 2,000 to 291,000

With an increase in population on the preceding year of 0.9 per cent, Birmingham also recorded the largest rate of increase, whereas Stoke-on-Trent’s population is estimated to have decreased by 0.2 per cent.

Across the UK, the population grew to 61.792 million in 2009, an increase of 0.6% on the preceding year, with natural change contributing 217,000 and net migration 177,000.

A detailed breakdown of all the 2009 mid-year population statistics—nationally, regionally and locally, as well as by age groups and gender—are available from the Office for National Statistics.

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Upcoming event: multiple risk factors of worklessness

Cropped section of a chart showing different factors affecting individual's chances of being out of work

We’re hosting an event on 6th July to share the findings and implications of our recent research looking at how a person’s background and personal characteristics affect the individual’s chance of being out of work.

The report, Worklessness in the West Midlands: the impact of demographics and multiple risk factors (pdf, 545kb), looks in depth at the impact of several ‘risk factors’, in isolation and in combination with each other:

  • Being a young person (aged 16–24)
  • Being an older person (aged 55 to retirement)
  • Being from a black, Indian or Pakistani or ​Bangladeshi ethnic group
  • Having a long-​term health problem or disability
  • Being a lone parent
  • Having no qualifications

The analysis will help decision makers get a greater understanding of the complex interplay of issues behind the current high rate of worklessness across the West Midlands.

The event takes place at the West Midlands Regional Observatory offices (get directions), 8:45–11:00am, 6th July 2010.

It’s free to attend, though please register as places are limited.

  • Event agenda (pdf, 94kb)
  • Book online (requires registration)
  • Download a booking form (doc, 45kb)

ONS release revised local authority population estimates for 2002 to 2008

Office for National StatisticsThe Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released revised mid-2002 to mid-2008 population estimates for local authorities in England and Wales. The revisions have been produced as a result of improvements to ONS  methodology, introduced as part of the cross-government Migration Statistics Improvement Programme.

The new population estimates use an enhanced method for apportioning migrants to local authorities incorporating modelling using up-to-date survey and administrative data. Higher Education Statistics Agency data is utilised to improve estimates of student internal migration.

ONS have produced a population estimates analysis tool to help users understand the main patterns and trends in the population estimates. Users can select specific areas of interest and compare local estimates across time and with estimates at higher levels of geography.

Data users are also able to select specific age groups and view the components of population change for the chosen area.

Mid-2009 population estimates will be published on 24th June 2010, and will be based upon the new methodology.

Visit the ONS website for more information.

Consultation on English Indices of Deprivation

Map of West Midlands illustrating performance against Indices of Deprivation 2007 at Lower Super Output AreaCommunities and Local Government launched a consultation on the Indices of Deprivation this week.

The consultation is seeking input on three key areas:

  • Need for an updated set of indices, the form they should take and comments on a longer term aim of whether specific indicators or domains should be comparable across the UK
  • Comments on the methodology used for the Indices of Deprivation 2007
  • Current availability of data sources if the Indices of Deprivation 2007 methodology is retained for an immediate update

Responses to the Indices of Deprivation 2007 suggested that a full scale review of the indices would be best held after the 2011 Census.

As such the consultation asks whether an update should be produced in 2010 based, as closely as possible, on the 2007 methodology with a subsequent detailed review to follow the next Census. The alternative is to postpone the update until after a full review is carried out.

The indices are used widely within public and third sectors to analyse patterns of deprivation, identify areas that would benefit from special initiatives or programmes and as a tool to determine eligibility for specific funding streams. As such, it’s a hugely important consultation and we would advise any interested parties to feed their views in through the CLG process.

Consultation papers are on the CLG website and responses need to be submitted by 10th May 2010.

New research on employment gap between white and BME communities in the West Midlands

Cover of briefing paper on employment and BME groups in the West MidlandsThere is a large gap between the employment rates of the white population and the black and minority ethnic (BME) population and this gap is bigger in the West Midlands than nationally.

74% of working age white people are in employment in the West Midlands (compared to 76% nationally), while 54% of working age BME people are in employment (compared to 60% nationally).

A new briefing paper (pdf, 761kb) from the Observatory’s economic inclusion research team explores the nature of this employment gap and other issues around minority ethnic groups and the labour market.

Download the briefing on employment and black and minority ethnic groups in the West Midlands (pdf , 761kb)

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