Work & labour market


Employment is a primary determinant of health, impacting both directly and indirectly on the individual, their families and communities.  Unemployment is associated with a range of health risks and health inequalities primarily due to the event of becoming unemployed as well as reduced income, deprivation and poverty associated with being out of work. The risk of ill health increases as the duration of unemployment increases. The unemployment rate, and rate of long term unemployment, are generally highest in the most deprived areas.

Evidence suggest that working environment including job demands, work control and job strain, not only has an impact on decision-making power of individuals but also on their health outcomes. People with more job control have better health outcomes, whereas effort-reward imbalance (high effort and low reward) can lead to poor health. There is also evidence that healthier, active and engaged employees are more productive and have lower level of sickness absence.

PHE’s profile for Trafford on Work and the Labour Market show that 79.6% of people aged 16-64 years are in employment higher than England average of 76.2% (Wider Determinants of Health, 2020). Rates of claimants for employment related benefits is lower (4.8%) than England average (5.4%) (Wider Determinants of Health, 2018). Data from 2017-2019, suggests that 1.4% of employees had at least one day off due to sickness in the previous week (similar to England average of 2.1%). However, certain groups within Trafford fare less well.

  • Gap in the employment rate between those in contact with secondary mental health is 66 percentage points and is similar (statistically significant) to the average gap across England (67.6 percentage points) (Wider Determinants of Health, 2019).
  • Gap in the employment rate between those with a long-term health condition and the overall employment rate is 6.4 percentage points and is better (statistically significant) than England average of 10.6 percentage points  There has been a sharp reduction in the percentage point from 13.9 percentage points in 2019 (Wider Determinants of Health, 2020).
  • Gap in the employment rate between those with those with a learning disability and the overall employment rate is 64.6 percentage points and is better (statistically significant) than England average of 69.7 percentage points (Wider Determinants of Health, 2019).

Other resources

ONS NOMIS contains official Labour Market Statistics, and includes local authority and electoral ward level profiles.