Monday, 27 March 2017

National and local labour force projections for the UK

an article by Ludi Simpson (University of Manchester, UK) published in Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit Volume 32 Issue 2 (March 2017)


Labour force forecasts are required by local planning, legally guided in the UK by regulations on land use. Methods of forecasting the labour force, and data available for UK practice, are reviewed here.

A best strategy for sub-national forecasts of the labour supply is found empirically to involve an accurate national forecast with a local starting point. Key trends are the decreasing economic activity of young adults, the increasing activity of older adults and the impact of changing state pension age.

However, there exists neither an acceptable national forecast of economic activity nor a standard approach to local forecasts. Software for implementation of sub-national forecasts is described, and six types of scenarios are listed to aid local planning, which reflect uncertainty about current trends and the impact of changes in policy.

Research and development of forecasting the national and the local labour force is urgently needed.

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