Occupations

Estimates of occupation of employment for residents come from the Annual Population Survey, which has a local sample of around 1000 residents.  This means estimates have a degree of error associated with them. Confidence intervals are used to show the range in which an estimate is likely to fall.

In 2011-12 the greatest proportion of workers in Herefordshire by occupation group were the ‘skilled trade’ (16%) and ‘professional’ occupations (14%).  ‘Associate professional & technical’ (13%), ‘elementary’ (12%) and ‘administrative and secretarial’ (10%) occupations accounted for the next greatest proportion of those in employment.  The lowest proportion of employees were in ‘sales and customer service’ occupations (6%). This is perhaps slightly surprising given that the wholesale and retail trade is the largest sector of employment in the county (20% of all jobs in the county). The difference is likely to be largely explained by the occupational structure of wholesale and retail businesses i.e. a good proportion must be managers and occupations other than ‘sales and customer services’. For example shopkeepers and proprietors are classified under ‘managers, directors and senior officials’.

Chart 1. Occupations as a proportion (%) of total in employment (aged 16+), 2011-12
Chart 1. Occupations as a proportion (%) of total in employment (aged 16+), 2011-12
Source: Annual Population Survey - ONS Crown copyright Note: error bars show 95% confidence intervals

Herefordshire had a significantly1 higher proportion of residents employed in the ‘skilled trade’ occupations (16%) when compared with England (11%) and a significantly lower proportion employed in ‘professional’ occupations (14% in Herefordshire compared to 19% across England). Although accounting for a relatively small proportion, ‘process plant and machine operative’ occupations made up significantly higher proportion of Herefordshire’s workforce (9%) than across England (6%).

The occupational structure is likely to have been affected by the economic downturn. Although there have been some changes in the occupational makeup over the last few years none of the changes are statistically significant as the sample for Herefordshire is not large enough.  Across England the occupations to see the greatest increase in proportion between 2007-08 and 2011-12 were ‘professional’ and ‘caring, leisure and other service’ occupations which increased by 2 and 1 percentage points respectively. The occupations to see the greatest decrease were ’administrative and secretarial’ and ‘skilled trade’ occupations that both decreased by 1 percentage point.

Knowledge intensive occupations

Employment that is ‘knowledge intensive’ is of interest to policy makers because employment of this nature has the potential to add more value to the economy through both increased wages and profits. See the for more information.  The three occupations which are classed as knowledge intensive are ‘managers and senior officials’, ‘professional’ and ‘associate professional and technical’. In 2011-12 these occupations made up 39% of all those in employment. This was significantly less than across England (46%). It was similar to the proportion for the West Midlands (41%) and the other authorities in the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (Shropshire 41% and Telford and Wrekin 41%).

Chart 2. Proportion of all those in employment in the knowledge intensive occupations
Chart 2. Proportion of all those in employment in the knowledge intensive occupations
Source: Annual Population Survey Note: error bars show 95% confidence intervals

Last updated: 24 September 2012