Tuesday 2 August 2011

Joblessness in Edinburgh and Glasgow

I'm currently finishing off a piece of work relating to spatial patterns of labour market deprivation in Scotland so I thought I'd share a couple of findings about the contrasting cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow*. I've been using data from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (2009) employment deprivation domain, which gives a jobless rate for each small area (Data Zone). The official explanation is that it is 'involuntary exclusion from the labour force' and it includes things like unemployment claimants and incapacity benefit claimants.

I've been looking at the data within the context of local labour markets and have done some comparisons between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The data are now a bit old (from 2008) but what's really interesting are the numbers... In Glasgow, the total population of Data Zones where the jobless rate was 25% or more was a little over 170,000 (more than the population of Dundee) and areas with a rate of 33% or more contained just over 51,000 people (more than the population of Perth). By contrast, the figures for Edinburgh were just under 25,000 and just under 11,000 respectively. Even when you take into account the difference in population (about 600,000 for Glasgow vs. 450,000 for Edinburgh) that's a big difference! I know this contrast isn't particularly surprising but the numbers did surprise me a bit.

*I've added Aberdeen and Dundee because David Manley suggested it. A good idea!