Commuting and jobs density

Measures of the distribution of employment within the North East

Commuting patterns are complex within the North East but the latest detailed official flow data is from the 2011 Census. It highlighted that, at that time, workers commuted in both directions between all North East local authority areas, but particularly so in and out of Newcastle. More timely data gives estimates of net commuting and job density, a measure of employment opportunities as a proportion of the residential workforce. 

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a survey of households and provides information about employment totals by the locations of where people live (residence-based) and where they work (if known) (workplace-based). The latest estimates show that, within North East local authorities, 

  • County Durham had the highest number of residents in employment
  • Newcastle workplaces had the highest number of people employed
  • there was a large net in-commute (of about 79,000) to Newcastle
  • in Gateshead and Sunderland, workplace employment approximately matched residence-based employment
  • County Durham (43,000), North Tyneside (31,000), South Tyneside (21,000) and Northumberland (15,000) all had large net out-commutes.

A Job density is calculated by dividing the number of jobs in an area by the number of its residents aged 16-64. Areas with a high job density are those with large net in-commutes while workers in an area with a low job density are more likely to be out-commuters. According to the latest data, in 2019:

  • The North East job density was below the national equivalent and the lowest among the eight core city LEP areas
  • this reflects a lower net in-commute than in other core city LEPs as well as a low employment rate 
  • the North East density was similar in 2019 to five years earlier
  • among North East local authorities the density was highest in Newcastle and lowest in South Tyneside, County Durham and Northumberland
  • at constituency level, the highest densities were in Newcastle upon Central, Gateshead and Washington and Sunderland West
  • the lowest densities were in North West Durham, North Durham and South Shields.

Employment totals by residence and workplace, North East local authority areas

Last updated:
28/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Sources: Annual Population Survey and Annual Population Survey - Workplace Analysis Oct 19-Sep 20 (Both Nomis, last updated on 26 Jan 2021)

Data information: Based on residence and reported location of workplace by local authority area



Jobs density, North East LEP, England, core city LEPs

Last updated:
28/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Sources: Jobs Density [Nomis, last updated 26 January 2021] 

Data information:  Jobs density is the numbers of jobs per resident aged 16-64. For example, a job density of 1.0 would mean that there is one job for every resident of working age. The total jobs used to calculate density combines employees (from the Business Register and Employment Survey), self-employment jobs (from the Annual Population Survey), government-supported trainees (from DfES and DWP) and HM Forces (from MoD).

Based on LEP areas for the eight English core cities, England and England excluding London. 


Jobs density, North East LEP local authorities

Last updated:
28/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Sources: Jobs Density [Nomis, last updated 26 January 2021] 

Data information:  Jobs density is the numbers of jobs per resident aged 16-64. For example, a job density of 1.0 would mean that there is one job for every resident of working age. The total jobs used to calculate density combines employees (from the Business Register and Employment Survey), self-employment jobs (from the Annual Population Survey), government-supported trainees (from DfES and DWP) and HM Forces (from MoD).

Based on local authority areas


Jobs density, North East LEP constituencies

Last updated:
28/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Sources: Jobs Density [Nomis, last updated 26 January 2021] 

Data information:  Jobs density is the numbers of jobs per resident aged 16-64. For example, a job density of 1.0 would mean that there is one job for every resident of working age. The total jobs used to calculate density combines employees (from the Business Register and Employment Survey), self-employment jobs (from the Annual Population Survey), government-supported trainees (from DfES and DWP) and HM Forces (from MoD).

Based on current parliamentary constituencies