Buckinghamshire’s claimant count, May 2019

Buckinghamshire’s claimant count rose by 70 in May to stand at 4,135, the highest it has been since March 2014.

At 1.3 per cent of working age residents, Buckinghamshire has the 3rd lowest claimant count rate among the 26 county council areas, ranking 2nd among the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).  By district, the claimant count ranges from 1.0 per cent in Chiltern and South Bucks to 1.6 per cent in Wycombe, and from 0.8 per cent in Buckingham to 2.0 per cent in Wycombe by constituency.

Over the last year, Buckinghamshire’s claimant count has risen by 35.6 per cent, above the national rate of increase and the 9th highest among both LEPs and county council areas.  Women now account for 41.1 per cent of all claimants in Buckinghamshire, having seen the number of claimants rise to 1,700 in May, a 42.3 per cent increase over the last year.

Table 1: Claimant Count, May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Despite rising in May, at 4,335, the number of job openings in Buckinghamshire was 32.9 per cent (2,122 openings) lower than the 6,457 recorded in May 2017.  The fall in openings has been most marked for professional positions and in the public sector (see table 3).  Jobs in the professional occupations remain the most commonly advertised in Buckinghamshire, accounting for 29.0 per cent of all openings, down from 32.2 per cent last year having fallen in all industries with the exception of construction.  Elementary occupations have seen the largest rise in openings in the last year, particularly in professional, technical and administrative services.  There is now just over one job opening for every claimant in Buckinghamshire, while at the national level there are two claimants for every opening.

The most commonly sought occupations over the last year have been other sales occupations (2,571 openings), ahead of other administrative occupations (2,170), other customer service occupations (2,142), programmers and software development professionals (1,754), nurses (1,667), marketing and sales directors (1,459), and other managers and proprietors in other service activities (1,435).

The specialised skills most sought by recruiters in Buckinghamshire in the last year have been customer service, specified in 7,517 job openings, or 18.3 per cent of the total, ahead of team work/collaboration (6,326, 15.4), and sales (4,805, 11.7).  The most commonly sought baseline skills have been communication skills (15,081, 36.8), organisational skills (6,952, 17.0), Microsoft Excel (5,742, 14.0), and being detail-orientated (5,363, 13.1).

Chart 1: Buckinghamshire’s claimant count over time, to May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Table 2: Claimant count by age group, May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Chart 2: Aylesbury Vale’s claimant count over time, to May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Chart 3: Chiltern’s claimant count over time, to May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Chart 4: South Bucks’ claimant count over time, to May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Chart 5: Wycombe’s claimant count over time, to May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Chart 6: Annual change in claimant count over time (%), to May 2019

Source: DWP, 2019

Table 3: Change in annual job openings in Buckinghamshire by industry and occupation 2018-2019 (years ending May)

Source: Labour Insight, 2019


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