Finding work in 2001: urban–rural contrasts across England in employment rates and local job availability
Early results from the 2001 census of England allow a preliminary analysis of joblessness. People in the prime working ages (25–49) are more likely to be in work than those in their 50s, but the differences are quite subtle: in particular, men without qualifications are not much more likely to be in work when they are younger, despite the suggestions that too many men cease working in their 50s. The evidence supports the view that there is a national shortfall of demand for labour, that the low-skilled are the least able to compete for scarce jobs, and older people are the most likely to be unqualified. Moreover there is a strong spatial clustering of areas where job availability has declined or grown least, undermining the government's claim that there were often available jobs near to concentrations of people without work.