Economic activity

Headlines

  • Economic activity rates have increased since 2001, especially for women (68% in 2011 compared with 63% in 2001)
  • 39% of women in employment work part time compared with 9% of men
  • More than 100,000 Surrey residents are self employed
  • Unemployment rates are lower than the national average (2.8% of people aged 16-74 compared with 4.4%)

Economically Active

The total number of economically active people aged 16-74 (employees, the self employed, the unemployed and working students) in Surrey in 2011 was 601,791, compared with 547,635 in 2001. This is an increase of 54,156 or 9.9% since 2001. Economic activity rates for men in Surrey at 79.8% remained almost unchanged compared with 2001 (79.4%). Whereas the 67.7% rate for the women was higher than in 2001 (63.3%).

Surrey economic activity rates were higher than in England (75.2% of men and 64.7% of women) and higher than rates for the South East region (77.6% and 66.7% respectively).The boroughs with the highest percentage of economically active people were the same as in 2001, all showing in 2011 a small increase: Spelthorne (75.5%), Woking (75.4%), Reigate & Banstead (75.2%) and Surrey Heath (75.1%).

The greatest numerical increase in the resident workforce between 2001 and 2011 were in Reigate & Banstead (+8,740), Elmbridge (+6,928) and Woking (+6,480). The largest percentage increase was in Epsom and Ewell (16.5%). The number of economically active residents increased in all the Surrey boroughs.
Table 1: Economic activity rates for population aged 16-74

% economically active Males –
% economically active
Females –
% economically active
Surrey 73.6 79.8 67.7
Elmbridge 73.4 81.4 65.9
Epsom and Ewell 73.6 79.6 67.9
Guildford 72.2 77.8 66.6
Mole Valley 72.7 78.7 66.8
Reigate and Banstead 75.2 80.7 69.9
Runnymede 71.6 77.3 66.2
Spelthorne 75.5 80.6 70.4
Surrey Heath 75.2 80.6 69.6
Tandridge 73.5 79.3 67.9
Waverley 72.0 78.7 65.6
Woking 75.4 82.3 68.4
South East 72.1 77.6 66.7
England 69.9 75.2 64.7

Source: Census – Office for National Statistics
Figure 1: Percentage of people aged 16-74 economically active – 2001 and 2011

Source: Office for National Statistics
Figure 2: Percentage of people aged 16-74 economically active

Figure 3: Economically active population by economic status 2011

Source: Office for National Statistics

Full time and part time employment

42.2% of Surrey residents aged 16-74 (344,923 people) were in full time employment in 2011, compared with 341,270 or 44.4% in 2001. This level of full time working was higher than the England average of 38.6% of residents. There were particular concentrations of full time working among residents living in the Boroughs of Spelthorne (46.5%) and Woking (45%).

The proportion of Surrey residents aged 16-74 who were working part time was 13%. This is very similar to the England and South East rates of part time workers and higher than the 2001 rate of 11.6%
39% of the women in employment worked part time, while only 9% of the male worked part time
Table 2: Percentage of males and females aged 16-74 in full time and part time employment

Females –
% Employed part-time
Females –
% Employed full-time
Males –
% Employed part-time
Males –
% Employed full-time
Surrey 21.0 33.1 4.8 51.6
Elmbridge 19.0 32.2 4.3 52.0
Epsom and Ewell 21.7 33.2 5.2 51.1
Guildford 19.8 31.7 4.5 50.5
Mole Valley 22.6 30.1 4.9 48.5
Reigate and Banstead 21.9 35.6 5.0 52.5
Runnymede 19.1 33.1 4.8 49.9
Spelthorne 21.4 37.7 5.0 55.3
Surrey Heath 22.1 34.4 5.1 53.9
Tandridge 21.8 32.6 4.9 49.2
Waverley 22.1 28.4 4.8 49.1
Woking 20.1 35.4 5.0 54.7
South East 22.0 31.6 5.5 49.5
England 21.2 30.6 6.1 46.8

Source: Census – Office for National Statistics
Figure 4: Percentage of male and female in employment working full-time and part-time

Source: Office for National Statistics
Figure 5: Percentage of people aged 16-74 employed full-time

The self employed

Surrey has a relatively large proportion of self employed residents (102,486 or 12.5% of all aged 16-74) compared with 9.8% in England and 11% in the S.E. Region. This was 17,936 (21.2%) more self employed in Surrey than in 2001.

There were particular concentrations of self employed in the districts of Elmbridge and Mole Valley (both 14.7%) and Waverley (14.5%).
Table 3: Percentage of people aged 16-74 who are self employed

Persons –
% self employed
Males –
% self employed
Females –
% self employed
Surrey 12.5 17.2 8.0
Elmbridge 14.7 19.6 10.2
Epsom and Ewell 11.7 17.1 6.7
Guildford 11.3 15.0 7.6
Mole Valley 14.7 20.0 9.5
Reigate and Banstead 12.3 17.4 7.2
Runnymede 10.7 15.4 6.1
Spelthorne 10.0 14.4 5.8
Surrey Heath 11.8 15.8 7.7
Tandridge 14.3 20.1 8.7
Waverley 14.5 19.2 10.0
Woking 11.5 16.0 7.1
South East 11.0 15.4 6.7
England 9.8 13.9 5.7

Source: Office for National Statistics
Figure 6: Percentage of residents aged 16-74 who are self employed – 2001 and 2011

Source: Office for National Statistics

The unemployed

2.8% of Surrey residents aged 16-74 considered themselves to be unemployed in 2011. This was lower than the rate for England (4.4%) and higher than the rate in 2001 (1.7%).
Table 4: Percentage of people aged 16-74 who are unemployed

Persons –
% unemployed
Males –
% unemployed
Females –
% unemployed
Surrey 2.8 3.3 2.3
Elmbridge 2.7 3.2 2.2
Epsom and Ewell 2.7 3.2 2.3
Guildford 2.7 3.1 2.3
Mole Valley 2.5 3.1 1.9
Reigate and Banstead 2.9 3.4 2.5
Runnymede 2.7 3.2 2.2
Spelthorne 3.3 3.7 2.8
Surrey Heath 2.8 3.1 2.4
Tandridge 2.8 3.3 2.3
Waverley 2.4 2.9 2.0
Woking 3.2 3.7 2.7
South East 3.5 4.1 2.8
England 4.4 5.3 3.5

Source: Office for National Statistics
Figure 7: Percentage of people aged 16-74 unemployed

Students

The total number of students aged 16-74 in Surrey in 2011 was 66,224, which represents an increase of 31% since 2001. The boroughs with the highest percentage of economically active students were Guilford (4.9% of the residents aged 16-74) and Runnymede (4.8%), reflecting the presence of the Royal Holloway and Surrey university campuses.
Table 5: Students aged 16-74 by economic status

Economically active:
Full-time student
% economically
active
full-time student
Economically inactive:
Student
(including full-time students)
% economically
inactive students
Surrey 25,327 3.1 40,897 5.0
Elmbridge 2,123 2.3 4,136 4.5
Epsom and Ewell 1,915 3.5 2,785 5.1
Guildford 4,999 4.9 8,681 8.5
Mole Valley 1,472 2.4 2,324 3.8
Reigate and Banstead 2,491 2.5 3,508 3.5
Runnymede 2,865 4.8 5,476 9.2
Spelthorne 1,725 2.5 2,260 3.2
Surrey Heath 1,785 2.9 2,185 3.5
Tandridge 1,325 2.2 2,581 4.3
Waverley 2,464 2.9 4,402 5.1
Woking 2,163 3.0 2,559 3.6
South East 209,620 3.3 324,649 5.2
England 1,336,823 3.4 2,255,831 5.8

Source: Office for National Statistics
Figure 8: Students in Surrey and economic activity

Source: Office for National Statistics

Figure 9: Percentage of economically active full time students

Retired people

12.9% of Surrey residents aged 16-74 were retired (105,585 people). This was slightly lower than the S.E. Region and England rates of 13.7% and lower than in 2001 (113,757 people).
Table 6: People aged 16-74 economically inactive – Retired

Persons –
% retired
Males –
% retired
Females –
% retired
Surrey 12.9 11.0 14.8
Elmbridge 12.2 10.3 14.0
Epsom and Ewell 13.4 11.6 15.2
Guildford 11.3 9.6 13.1
Mole Valley 15.7 13.5 17.8
Reigate and Banstead 12.4 10.4 14.4
Runnymede 11.9 10.3 13.4
Spelthorne 13.3 11.7 14.9
Surrey Heath 13.5 11.5 15.5
Tandridge 14.1 11.9 16.2
Waverley 14.3 12.1 16.5
Woking 11.5 9.8 13.2
South East 13.7 11.7 15.6
England 13.7 11.8 15.6

Source: Office for National Statistics

Looking after home or family

4.7% of Surrey residents aged 16-74 (38,200 people) did not work because they were looking after the home or family. This proportion is very similar to the South East and England rates of 4.4% and lower than the rate in 2001 (6.9%).
Table 7: People aged 16-74 economically inactive – Looking after home or family

Persons –
% looking after
home or family
Males –
% looking after
home or family
Females –
% looking after
home or family
Surrey 4.7 0.5 8.7
Elmbridge 6.4 0.6 11.8
Epsom and Ewell 4.2 0.4 7.8
Guildford 4.4 0.5 8.3
Mole Valley 4.4 0.5 8.2
Reigate and Banstead 4.4 0.6 8.2
Runnymede 3.9 0.5 7.2
Spelthorne 3.9 0.5 7.2
Surrey Heath 4.4 0.5 8.3
Tandridge 4.3 0.5 7.9
Waverley 5.0 0.4 9.3
Woking 5.5 0.5 10.5
South East 4.4 0.7 8.0
England 4.4 0.8 7.9

Source: Office for National Statistics
Figure 9: Percentage of population aged 16-74 who are looking after home or family

Source: Office for National Statistics

Long-term sick or disabled

The percentage of Surrey residents aged 16-74 who were not working in 2011 because they were permanently sick or disabled was 2.1%, half of the England rate of 4.1%. This was 16,744 people compared to 18,661 in 2001.
Table 8: People aged 16-74 economically inactive – Long-term sick or disabled

Region Persons –
% long-term sick
or disabled
Males –
% long-term sick
or disabled
Females –
% long-term sick
or disabled
Surrey 2.1 2.1 2.0
Elmbridge 1.8 1.8 1.8
Epsom and Ewell 2.1 2.1 2.0
Guildford 1.9 1.9 1.9
Mole Valley 2.1 2.2 2.0
Reigate and Banstead 2.3 2.5 2.1
Runnymede 1.9 2.0 1.8
Spelthorne 2.3 2.4 2.2
Surrey Heath 1.7 1.7 1.7
Tandridge 2.2 2.3 2.1
Waverley 2.1 2.1 2.0
Woking 2.3 2.3 2.3
South East 2.9 3.0 2.8
England 4.1 4.3 3.8

Source: Office for National Statistics