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

Budget 2012

Document: 

Based on the announcement of today’s Budget statement the outlook for the UK economy is
looking slightly more encouraging than it did nearly four months ago, when the Chancellor of the
Exchequer delivered his Autumn Statement.

The Chancellor is, however, in the difficult position of not being able to significantly increase
borrowing to fund net tax cuts which could stimulate growth, for fear of triggering a bond market
ratings downgrade and interest rate hikes. He is also unable to cut Government spending much
further to help pay off Government debt, which would help to keep bond rates, and therefore
interest rates, low (and act as a longer-term growth stimulus). This is due to the fact the welfare bill
is high given of current levels of unemployment and the danger that further significant cuts would
impact negatively upon GDP and unemployment in the short-term.

Jobseekers Allowance Analysis - March 2012

The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) has risen from 10,979 in January to 11,315 in February (336 additional claimants), representing a 3.1% increase from the previous month. As a result of this the rate of the working age population (aged 16-64) claiming JSA has risen from 2.4% to 2.5%. The latest figures for Devon follow the UK trend of rising unemployment, albeit at a faster rate (3.1% in Devon compared to 2.2% for the UK as a whole). The UK unemployment rate has also seen a 0.1 percentage point change in the rate of JSA claimants rising from 4.1% to 4.2%. So whilst the claimant count rate has risen in Devon, it remains below the UK average and our neighbouring areas.

Job Seekers Allowance Analysis - February 2012

The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) has risen from 10,194 in December to 10,979 in January (785 claimants), representing a 7.7% increase from the previous month. Consequently the rate of the working age population (16-64) claiming JSA has risen from 2.2% to 2.4%. The latest figures for Devon follow the UK trend albeit at a faster rate (7.7% in Devon compared to 5.1% in the UK), however the UK has also seen a 0.2 percentage point change in the rate of JSA claimants rising from 3.9% to 4.1%. So whilst the claimant count rate has risen in Devon, it remains below the UK average and our neighbouring areas.