This page brings together recently released data by the Office for national Statistics (ONS) on aspects of the national economy effected by the Corona-virus Pandemic.  Additionally, using data from the quarterly  Annual Population Survey (APS) and the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS), analysis on what employment and unemployment might be over the coming months has been estimated.  (Please read the ‘Notes’ at the bottom of this page around these datasets and the limitations of some of this analysis.)

Note: There is significant uncertainty around how local economies will be effected by the COVID 19 pandemic and so the information on this page is intended to provide a possible trajectory of how levels of employment and unemployment might change over the coming months.  It is not intended to provide definitive numbers or predictions and statistical evidence at the local authority level may not become available until spring/summer 2020.

Information presented here covers:

  • Furloughed Employments (Data for County Durham up to June 2020),
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS),
  • Estimates of employment,
  • Estimates of unemployment.

Key Messages:

  • It is estimated that 69,000 employments in County Durham were furloughed, up to June 2019,
  • It is estimated that 11,500 claims by eligible self-employed people in County Durham have made claims under the SEISS Tranche 2 up to 31st August 2019, representing 59% of the eligible population,
  • Estimates suggest employment levels in County Durham in August 2020 were around 70.6%,
  • Estimates suggest unemployment levels in County Durham in July 2020 were around 7.0%.

Further economic data on County Durham is available on the following pages:

The following sections provide more detail on these datasets.

Furloughed Employments (June 2020)

Furloughed Employments: HMRC have released a set of experimental statistics detailing the number of employments furloughed down to the Parliamentary Constituency level.  This is the second release of official statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and provides analysis of claims made up until 30 June 2020.  Additional statistics on the CJRS are intended to be published monthly.

Note: The last data published for County Durham was for the end of June 2020.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics

Key Messages:

    • It is estimated that 69,000 employments in County Durham were furloughed up to June 2020.  This was estimated to represent 32.2% of jobs in the county (see Notes below),
    • Across the North East the figure was 350,700 employments of an estimated 31.5% of eligible employments in the North East (June 2020),
    • Across England the estimate was 8.07 million employments out of an estimated 25.6 million eligible employments. Around 31.5% of all eligible employments in England (June 2020).

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Tranche 2 (Since August 17th)

Note: The following refers to the second tranche of the scheme which started taking applications on 17th August.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) provides support for self-employed individuals whose business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).  From 13 May eligible self-employed individuals could claim a grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
 
The data used in this second tranche cover claims to the SEISS scheme from 17th August up to 31 August 2020. This data has been matched with other HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data.
 
This is the second time this information has been released publicly and has been produced using data from both the SEISS and HMRC’s Self-Assessment (SA) system.
 
Key Messages:
  • It is estimated that 11,500 claims by eligible self-employed people in County Durham have been made claims under the SEISS upto August 31st 2020 in this second tranche of the scheme.  This is estimated to represent 59% of the potentially eligible population at an estimated cost of £26.6 million,
  • However this only represents those eligible to apply under the scheme (estimated at 19,400).  The Annual Population Survey results for 2020 estimate that there were 32,400 self-employed, a difference of 13,000 people who may not have been eligible to apply to this scheme.
  • Across the North East the figure is 57,000 claims.  This is estimated to represent 61% of the potentially eligible population,
  • Across England the estimate is 1.75 million claims.  This is estimated to represent 60% of the potentially eligible population.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Tranche 1 (Application process ended 13th July)

Note: The following refers to the first tranche of the scheme which stopped taking applications on 13th July – this data will not be updated.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) provides support for self-employed individuals whose business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).  From 13 May eligible self-employed individuals could claim a grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
 
The data used in this release cover claims to the SEISS scheme up to 31 July 2020. This data has been matched with other HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data.
 
This is the second time this information has been released publicly and has been produced using data from both the SEISS and HMRC’s Self-Assessment (SA) system.
 
Key Messages:
  • It is estimated that 14,800 self-employed people in County Durham have been made claims under the SEISS upto July 31st 2020.  This is estimated to represent 76% of the potentially eligible population at an estimated cost of £39.6 million,
  • However this only represents those eligible to apply under the scheme (estimated at 19,400).  The Annual Population Survey results for 2020 estimate that there were 32,400 self-employed, a difference of 13,000 people who may not have been eligible to apply to this scheme.
  • Across the North East the figure is 72,000 self-employed people.  This is estimated to represent 77% of the potentially eligible population,
  • Across England the estimate is over 2.25 million self-employed people.  This is estimated to represent 76% of the potentially eligible population.

Estimates of Employment

Employment estimates for County Durham are available from the Annual Population Survey (APS) which provides estimates on a rolling 12 month average.  However, each release of these data are for the 12 month period ending at least 3 months prior, (current release is covers July 2019 to August 2020).  This means up to date estimates are not readily available and any recent changes will be masked due to the averaging over the previous 12 months.
The Infographic below presents two scenarios of estimating more up to date levels of employment in County Durham
 
Scenario 1: Employment falls to the same low seen following the 2008 recession, (64.8% in 2012),
Scenario 2: Uses the latest regional employment rate from the LFS to model change in the County employment rate.
Key Messages:
  • Scenario 1: If employment levels fall to the post recession low of 64.8%, there would be 21,500 fewer people in employment in County Durham than the current APS figure provides (231,500),
  • Scenario 2: Using the % change in the NE employment rate it is estimated that the employment rate in County Durham for August 2020 could be 70.6%.  (Latest APS: 72.1%).

Estimates of Unemployment

Information and data on the potential effects of the Corona-virus Pandemic on the UK economy is mainly available at the national level, and there has been speculation that the number of people unemployed could rise to as much as 10% over the rest of 2020, with a reciprocal fall in employment.
 
However, as unemployment levels in County Durham tend to be higher than those nationally there is the potential for the effect on the county’s employment and unemployment to be more severe than that seen nationally.
The following four scenarios provide estimates on what the unemployment rate in County Durham could be ‘post COVID’.
Scenario 1: Unemployment reaches the same high seen following the 2008 recession, (11.2% in 2012),
Scenario 2: Models levels of unemployment given increases in the Unemployment Rate up to a rate of 14%,
Scenario 3: Uses the latest regional Unemployment Rate from the LFS to model change in the County Unemployment Rate,
Scenario 4: Uses the change in the ONS Experimental Claimant Count to model change in the APS Unemployment Rate.

 

Key Messages:
  • Scenario 1: If unemployment levels rise to the post recession high of 11.2%, there would be 12,000 more people unemployment in County Durham than the current APS figure provides (15,700),
  • Scenario 2: If the unemployment rate in County Durham was to rise to a rate of 14%, and additional 18,900 people could be unemployed increasing the total unemployed in the county to 34,600,
  • Scenario 3: Using the % change in the NE unemployment rate it is estimated that the unemployment rate in County Durham for August 2020 could be 7.0%.  (Latest APS: 5.5%),
  • Scenario 4: Using the percentage change in the ONS experimental claimant count as a proxy measure for the change in the APS unemployment rate it is estimated that in September the unemployment rate in County Durham could be around 10.6%, compared to only 5.5% in the latest APS data.

Notes

Furloughed Employments

  1. There is a difference in employees and employment/jobs. An employee is an individual; Employment refers the number of jobs. It is possible for a person to have more than one job.
 
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  1. Experimental Statistics.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics#self-employment-income-support-scheme

Current estimates of employment/unemployment
  1. The LFS is a rolling 3 month average released each month to a regional level. Current release covers June to August 2020.
  2. The APS is a rolling 12 average released every quarter to Parliamentary Constituency level. Current release covers July 2019 to August 2020.
  3. The experimental Claimant Count series counts the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance plus those who claim Universal Credit and are required to seek work and be available for work. (Current release covers Septemebr 2020),
  4. Using the LFS, the % change to the NE unemployment rate is applied to the nearest unemployment rate in the APS for County Durham.
  5. These estimates assume that changes in unemployment in County Durham follow the same path as they do in the NE.
  6. Unemployment rates in County Durham may vary from these estimates and they are used here only to point to a suggested trajectory of these rates in the county.
  7. There are differences in the time periods covered by these surveys.
  8. These estimates should be regarded as ‘what might be’ as there is significant uncertainty around the effects of this pandemic on the UK economy, given current governmental support and the measures proposed for the coming months.