DORSET has almost 50,000 managers, directors and senior officials among its workforce, figures reveal.

The research also shows average gross weekly pay was lower across Dorset than the national average of £541 and much higher for men than women.

Official statistics show the top category of occupations making up 12.9 per cent of the population in Bournemouth, 10.9 per cent in Poole and 15.3 per cent in the rest of the county.

That compares with 10.7 per cent of the population in those occupations nationally.

The official labour market profile also confirms the large number of people in caring, leisure and service occupations in Bournemouth in particular.

That category accounted for 12 per cent of the working population – 12,200 people – in Bournemouth, but 8.7 per cent in Poole and the rest of Dorset. The national figure is 9.1 per cent.

A high number of customer service and sales jobs points to the importance of the area’s financial services industry. These occupations accounted for 10 per cent of the population – 10,200 people – in Bournemouth, as well as nine per cent (16,900) people in the Dorset County Council area and 7.3 per cent (5,000 jobs) in Poole, compared with a national average of 7.5 per cent.

David McArthur, business development manager for the Department for Work and Pensions in Dorset and the New Forest, said: “If you look across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset than there’s a great spectrums of trades, occupations and experience.

“Because there’s a great spectrum, it enables school leavers or university leavers or individuals still in education doing part time jobs to see there are an awful lot of different jobs out there for them to endeavour to work towards.”

Gross weekly pay averaged £530.80 in Poole (£576.90 for male full-time workers and £457.90 for women). It was £510.90 in Bournemouth (£574.50 for men and £422.60 for women) and £501.60 in the rest of Dorset (£555.80 for men, £442.80 for women). The average for the south west was £513.20.

Hourly pay excluding overtime averaged £13.36 in Poole (£13.79 for men, £12.96 for women), £12.55 in Bournemouth (£13.30 for men, £10.74 for women) and £12.50 for Dorset (men £13.09, women £11.70).

The regional figure was £12.80 and national £13.66.

The rest of the official figures as to how people are employed are as follows.

Managers, directors, senior officials: Bournemouth 13,200 (12.9 per cent), Poole 7,400 (10.9 per cent), rest of Dorset 28,900 (15.3 per cent), UK 10.7 per cent.

Professional occupations: Bournemouth 17,300 (16.9 per cent), Poole 14,900 (21.8 per cent), rest of Dorset 33,600 (17.8 per cent), UK 20.4 per cent.

Associate, professional and technical: Bournemouth 13,300 (13 per cent), Poole 11,000 (16 per cent), rest of Dorset 25,900 (13.7 per cent), UK 14.2 per cent.

Administrative and secretarial: Bournemouth 8,800 (8.6 per cent), Poole 6,400 (9.4 per cent), rest of Dorset 21,800 (11.6 per cent), UK 10.2 per cent.

Skilled trades occupations: Bournemouth 9,500 (9.3 per cent), Poole 7,000 (10.2 per cent), Dorset 23,700 (12.6 per cent), UK 10.4 per cent.

Caring, leisure and other service occupations: Bournemouth 12,200 (12 per cent), Poole 6,000 (8.7 per cent), rest of Dorset 16,400 (8.7 per cent), UK 9.1 per cent.

Sales and customer service: Bournemouth 10,200 (10 per cent), Poole 5,000 (7.3 per cent), rest of Dorset 16,900 (nine per cent), UK 7.5 per cent.

Process, plant and machine operatives: Bournemouth 5,500 (5.3 per cent), Poole 4,300 (6.3 per cent), rest of Dorset 3,600 (1.9 per cent), UK 6.3 per cent.

Elementary occupations: Bournemouth 12,000 (11.7 per cent), Poole 6,000 (10.7 per cent), rest of Dorset 15,800 (8.4 per cent).

The data about employment categories cover the period from April 2016 to March this year, while the earnings figures are for 2016.