Employment is measured as the number of people aged 15 years or over who work for one hour or more a week. The unemployment rate measures the proportion of those people wanting work who do not have a job.
The unemployment rate is an important indicator of economic performance because it measures the extent to which available resources are being used; but it should not be considered in isolation. Underemployment and participation are also important factors to consider when evaluating the performance of the labour market.
Underemployment measures the number of people in the workforce who are working fewer hours than they would prefer. The participation rate measures the labour force – those either employed or actively looking for work – as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over.
High levels of part-time work or low levels of participation can be an indication of spare capacity in the labour market, which tends to place downward pressure on wages growth.
The Industry Map provides further detail on regional employment including population estimates, labour force status and industry employment.