One of EMSI’s innovative ways of looking at industry data is by location quotient. Location quotient (which we usually abbreviate LQ) is essentially a measure of concentration. We assign Great Britain an LQ of 1.0 and compare other regions to that constant. So if a particular industry has an LQ of <1.0 in a region, it means that industry has a low concentration in that region compared to Great Britain as a whole. In other words, the region is below average. An LQ of >1.0 means that the industry has a high concentration in the region.
Another way to think about LQ is by specialization. Let’s take a look at journalists, newspaper and periodical editors (SOC 3431). London clearly has the highest number of journalists, followed by North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, and Surrey. But if we arrange the data by 2012 Location Quotient, we get a slightly different picture.
|County/Unitary Authority||2008 Jobs||2012 Jobs||Change||2012 Location Quotient|
|Source: EMSI Covered Employment 2012.1|
|Inner London - East (UKI12)||7,212||8,690||1,478||4.55|
|Inner London - West (UKI11)||10,239||10,866||627||3.54|
|North Yorkshire CC (UKE22)||801||1,183||382||2.48|
|Brighton and Hove (UKJ21)||195||444||249||1.92|
London is still at the top of the pile, but surprisingly, Southampton comes next. Even though Southampton has only 664 journalist jobs, it has an LQ of 3.22, which tells us journalists are 3.2 times more concentrated in the region than in the country. Most of them probably come directly from Southampton Solent University, which is nationally-recognized for its journalism courses.
So that’s location quotient. It’s a handy way to measure concentration or specialization and it can also give you insight into emerging industries and occupations. It can be more helpful than simple workforce numbers because it gives a relative value, which means you can actually compare the economies of London and Southampton, in spite of their disparate size.
For a more technical explanation of location quotient you can read this article from EMSI’s US website.
To learn more about EMSI data or what EMSI products can do for you, please contact Andy Durman.