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Exploration of unemployment in small areas in Wales

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  • Release date: 26 November 2014
Analysis that examines unemployment results from the 2011 Census of Population. Comparing the patterns of unemployment at the smaller Output Area (OA) and the larger Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) levels.

The results are summarised by settlement type to give some insights into the differences between rural and urban areas.

The work was undertaken to investigate some of the issues raised in the consultation on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation about analysing deprivation in rural areas. It is published as part of a wider dissemination package for the 2014 edition of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Key findings

For analysing unemployment data by settlement type, it is not clear that OA level data is necessarily better than LSOA level data.

  • There are potential data quality issues for very small areas (Output Areas).
  • The numbers of unemployed people at OA level can be very small and potentially unreliable

Overall there is little systematic difference in the picture of unemployment by settlement size and context if the scale of analysis is changed from LSOA to OA.

The broad picture at both LSOA and OA is:

  • the more rural areas tend to have lower unemployment rates
  • there are still significant numbers of unemployed people in rural areas.


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