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Employment and Occupations

Labour Market Participation

The 2011 Census showed 64% of working-age women are now economically active, up from 46% 30 years ago (1981). This rate and trend is very similar to that seen across England as a whole. However, 44% of all female employees work part-time, and this level has remained fairly constant since 1981. The proportion of men who are economically active has risen from 71% in 2001 to 73% in 2011, with a similar increase seen across England as a whole (up to 75%). However, the proportion of male employees working part-time doubled and now stands at 10%. Thirty years ago only 1% of male employees worked part-time. Similar increases occurred nationally.


Compared to the Leeds City Region, the District’s economy has lower proportions of professional and managerial jobs and higher proportions of elementary and process/plant machine operative jobs (see table below).

Source: ONS (Annual Population Survey – workplace analysis; nomis API)
Period: ?

For local residents, changes over the past decade (in particular the rising professionalisation of nursing) have led to greater levels of parity between men and women employed in professional occupations. However, women still dominate secretarial, caring and leisure roles, while men still dominate among skilled trades and machine/plant operatives (see table below).

Source: ONS (Annual Population Survey – resident analysis; nomis API)
Period: ?

Wakefield has higher proportions of residents working in elementary occupations than the Leeds City Region average, although the gap has narrowed recently.

Source: ONS (Annual Population Survey – resident analysis; nomis API)

Other resources

A breakdown of resident occupations by ward from the 2011 Census (LG Inform Plus).