Briefings and Blog

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We are all in this together

We are all in this together – or are we?  The traditional economist view is, of course, yes: we are all part of one big economy, we all have a role to play and the actions of one economic agent will impact on another.  I recall my very first...

All Aboard..

With this months figures showing the employment train is leaving ‘Recession Station’ the immediate question has to be where is it going?  Nationally the rate of unemployment has fallen and the number in employment has risen.  For Devon the number of...

Chief Economist’s Blog – How strong is Devon’s economy?

This really depends on how you define strong.  There are a number of indicators where Devon performs well and a number of others where the county performs less well. Unemployment for example is and has been for some time, lower than the national...

Welcome to the new Devon County Council Economy Blog

This blog will be keeping you regularly updated with key information that has an effect on the Devon economy. Rob Hetherington, Devon County Council’s Chief Economist will be sharing his views on the economy.

Briefings

September 2010 - What Goes Up

The Devon economy continues to withstand the economic situation with some degree of resilience. Research commissioned by the BBC and published this month, looked at four key themes: business, community, people and place. It highlighted a strong north - south divide in terms of economic resilience. Whilst overall the research suggested Devon was reasonably resilient, there were some interesting disparities. Notable is the position of the South Hams, one of the more resilient areas which shares its labour market with Torbay and Plymouth. These are two of the least resilient economies, so it is difficult to justify this strong rating.

July 2010 - A New Growth Driver?

For the fourth consecutive month there has been a decrease in the number of people claiming Job
Seekers Allowance (JSA) in Devon. The number of people claiming JSA fell in July to 8,292 –
1.9% of the working age population. When comparing figures to the same period last year there
has been a substantial decrease in the number of people across Devon claiming JSA, from 10,522
claimants in June 2009 to 8,292 in June 2010, equating to an approximate 21% decrease year on
year.

June 2010 - No Conclusion

Things in Devon appear to be a little more conclusive. For the third consecutive month there has been a decrease in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). The number of people claiming JSA fell in June to 8,714 – 2.0% of the working age population. This is the first time figures have dropped below 9,000 claimants since December 2008, which is an encouraging sign that things are picking up within the Devon economy.

May 2010 - Let's Work Together

Whilst as a nation we are collaborating and finding a new way to work together, the Devon economy is being constrained by a lack of strong connections. The networks of secret passages around Whitehall have allowed the politicians to communicate, do deals and work together. Not since the English Civil War when the Earl of Devon supported the Royalists and there were a series of clandestine meetings held in the secret rooms of Powderham Castle has a Devon had similar connections.

April 2010 - On the Up!

Things in Devon appear to be on the up as well. The number of people claiming job seekers allowance fell in March to just over 10,300 – 2.4% of the working age population. We largely expected this as the economy in general settled down and as the £2billion Devon tourism industry began to wake for the summer season. A small scale survey undertaken by VisitDevon revealed that 65% of business were very optimistic about the forthcoming season; 56% of business were experiencing booking enquires that were better or much better than last year and 405 had had a better Easter than expected.