Uckfield employment: good for job-hunters but wages below average

Business Scene – March 2017


Low unemployment but relatively low wages. That’s a statistic uncovered in a Wealden District Council strategic review of the district.

The figures are quite revealing when it comes to the world of work, writes Paul Watson.

The jobless rate in Wealden fell 0.1% from 0.8% to 0.7% in 2016.

However, workplace wages for Wealden District are lower than the national average (median) (£358 per week compared to £442 per week in England for all employees in 2016).


The 2011 census shows that of those aged 16-74 in Uckfield, 75.5% are economically active, which is higher than Wealden’s average (70.1%) whilst the percentage of those that are self-employed (12%) is slightly lower than the average (15.7%).

Uckfield has a slightly higher percentage of unemployed people (2.9%) and a smaller percentage of the population who are retired (13.8%) compared to the respective averages for the district (2.5% and 18%).

Other stats plucked from the Wealden Local Plan – Draft Proposed Submission Document include:

There are about 28,300 full-time jobs in Wealden, representing around 64% of all jobs in the district, which is lower than the national average of 68%.

The highest proportion of full time employees are in:

  • construction (89.7%),
  • manufacturing (89.4%),
  • ICT (89.1%), and
  • finance and insurance (80.2%).

Sectors with a high proportion of part-time employees include:

  • accommodation and food (64.1%),
  • arts, entertainment and recreation (51.5%) and
  • education (48.9%).

There are around 8,900 businesses in Wealden with 44,200 jobs. Within the district, 44% of jobs are located within rural areas and 56% within urban areas which include the larger villages of Wadhurst and Forest Row.

Overall, Wealden has an employment density of around 0.42 jobs for every working age resident (aged 16 to 74).

In other words, there are more residents aged 16 to 74 than there are jobs, and, therefore, the district is an overall exporter of labour.

More than 3-in-4 (or 76%) of jobs in Wealden are in the private sector, compared to 74.1% nationally.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that there are around 6,800 micro businesses in Wealden District.

*All data is from the Wealden District Council planning document.

Business rates

The business rates revaluation is virtually upon us. It is going to bring about some big bills for some, while others will benefit.

Commercial property agent Chris Lawson set out what’s happening in Uckfield in this article.

It followed our report of a big shock for the family owners of the Highlands Inn.


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