The economically inactive are defined as people who are not unemployed and are not in employment. (Unemployed refers to people without a job who were available to start work in the two weeks following their interview and who had either looked for work in the four weeks prior to interview or were waiting to start a job they had already obtained.).

These individuals are not currently a part of the labour supply but are important as they may enter the labour supply in the future.

Estimates of economic inactivity are taken from the Annual Population Survey (APS) data produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which is available down to the local authority level, (data is available for Parliamentary Constituencies).

To view the dashboard below in full screen or to download, click on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the dashboard.  Key messages in this dashboard are also below the dashboard.

Key Messages:

  • The latest data (April 2020 to March 2021) shows that nearly one in four people a6ed 16 to 64 in the county were economically inactive in this period (23.1%/74,600 people). (North East – 24%, England 20.9%),
  • The economic inactivity rate in County Durham for those with an Equality Act (EA) core or work limiting disability is 46% (40,600 people), much higher than the rate for those without a disability (14.1%/31,500 people),
  • Historically economic inactivity rates in females have been higher than in males, although they have fallen over the 16 year data period available. In County Durham 27.5% of females were economically inactive compared to 18.7% of the male population. This is a fall from 36.2% in the period January 2004-December 2005 while rates in the male population have, until recently, remained relatively stable, (22.4% in January 2004-December 2005),
  • Nearly one in three young people (31.8%) aged 16 to 24 are estimated to be economically inactive in the county,
  • Economic inactivity in the 25 to 49 age group is the lowest across the main age groups and is currently 13.9%, slightly lower than the regional rate of 14.8%, but above the national rate of 12.2%,
  • Nearly one third of the 50 to 64 age group were economically inactive, (30.6%, 35,700 people), in County Durham, similar to the region (31.4%) and 6.3 percentage points higher than nationally (25.1%),
  • In County Durham nearly three quarters of the economically inactive, (73.1%), do not want a job. This is a fall from 84.9% in April 2004-March 2005 and lower than the share across the region (73.8%, which has fallen slightly from the previous period) and across England (77.4%),
  • The current APS unemployment rate for County Durham was estimated at 7.3% (18,000 people aged 16 to 64) and an increase from the previous period, (6.5%), and is higher than the North East (6.4%), and 2.5 percentage points higher than England (4.8%),
  • The current estimate of workless using the APS measures detailed above gives a rate for County Durham of 11.8% (38,000 people aged 16 to 64), higher than the North East (11.1%), and higher than the England (8.4%) rate.

Links to Data: