Beacon Dodsworth

Beacon Dodsworth have been using 2011 Census data to look at the impact of the 2008 recession and its effect on areas throughout Scotland. This analysis has been carried out using various Census variables combined with clustering techniques to produce an economic classification for the country. Further analysis is shown using P2 People & Places, Beacon Dodsworth’s geodemographic classification.

The 2008 recession has had an impact on us all. Although figures show that we are now coming out of this recession, its impact is still being felt and will felt for many years to come on.

We have been looking into what factors have been affecting the UK population, but here will focus on Scotland. This work has been carried out in partnership with Professor Peter Batey and Dr Peter Brown from the University of Liverpool.

The urban research unit Centre for Cities have defined what cities are within the UK to look at the impacts and factors in each of these areas. In total 64 areas have been defined called Primary Urban Areas. In Scotland there are 4 Primary Urban Areas; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. Generally single Local Authorities define a city. Glasgow, however, is made up of 5 Local Authorities; City of Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Image of Centre for Cities Primary Urban Areas

We have used 11 predominately 2011 Census variables to look at the economic impact on these Primary Urban Areas within Scotland which are all described below.

Variable Source Description
Density of an Area 2011 Census Spatial aspect of an area
Retired Population (65+) 2011 Census Ratio of retired people to the total population
Qualifications Highest Band (Level 4 and above) 2011 Census Levels of the most skilled of the working population
Economically Inactive Rate 2011 Census Measure of Worklessness
Part-time Rate 2011 Census The level of Part-time work in an area.  This helps to look at the issue of under employment
Part-time Change Rate 2001 and 2011 Censuses The amount of change in Part-time work for an area
Public Sector Rate The level of Public Sector employment in an area
Public Sector Change Rate (2008 – 2011) Business Register & Employment Survey The change in the Public Sector employment level over time
Manufacturing Sector Rate Business Register & Employment Survey The level of Manufacturing workers within an area
Knowledge Based intensive Services Rate Business Register & Employment Survey The level of high technology workers within an area
Business Churn Business Demography Difference between business start-ups and closures as a percentage of total business stock, i.e. are the number of businesses growing or shrinking within an area

Image of Economically Inactive Population Map

 The map above illustrates the levels of economic inactivity within these Primary Urban Areas for Scotland.

For an area to be successful it needs;

  • Large potential workforce
  • High levels of qualified/skilled workers
  • Lots of business innovation
  • Lots of high technology companies

Areas that will struggle will be impacted by the following factors;

  • Small potential workforce
  • Low levels of qualified/skilled workers
  • High levels of public sector workers
  • High levels of manufacturing workers

Image of UK Urban Clusters Map

These 11 variables have been clustered together to produce an economic classification of 6 different types of areas across the UK which are shown below. These areas illustrate Primary Urban Areas that will either struggle, do ok, or will grow depending on how they fare in relation to factors described above.

This contrast in how areas will do can be illustrated by comparing the cities of Dundee and Glasgow.

Dundee is part of the Manufacturing Public Sector Centres cluster which is characterised by high levels of public sector and manufacturing workers. There is a lot of part-time work coupled with high levels of unemployment meaning that as a city it will have been hit hard by the recession and will be struggling to recover. It has very few tools to help it grow in terms of its own potential workforce and available jobs to help create a recovery.

Glasgow is part of the Regional High Tech Growth cluster and is a complete contrast. It will not have been hit as hard by the recession and is in a far better position to grow again. It has new businesses being created with these being in the right sectors for growth, i.e. high technology sector. Glasgow’s workforce has a lot of qualified people who have the skills needed to work in these growth industries.

Image of Regional High Tech Growth Centres - Glasgow CityImage of Manufacturing Public Sector Centres - Dundee

Analysis can be taken to the next level of detail by using a geodemographic classification like P2 People & Places.  This is made up from around 140 Census variables to create 13 different types of clusters describing all aspects of an area from its population and housing characteristics to its health or labour market characteristics.  It provides a much more complete picture of an area.

In the map below these 13 different types (labelled A to M and called Trees) are illustrated at output area level for Glasgow again.  Tree H called New Starters describes students and young people starting out in their careers (yellow areas).  Trees L and M (red areas called Disadvantaged Households and Urban Challenge) describe the deprived areas of Glasgow while Trees A (purple areas called Mature Oaks) and E (green areas called Qualified Metropolitans) describe the affluent areas of the city.

Image of P2 People & Places for Glasgow City

To find out more about Beacon Dodsworth and how they use demographic data , please visit their demographic data page.