Friday, 21 November 2008 14:40

Job losses hit rural counties hard

Written by  Ruralcity Media

RURAL communities in southern England are being hit hard by job losses, according to analysts.

At 5.8%, unemployment is at its highest rate for eight years – and growing at its fastest since the 1990s.

Consumer spending is falling in the southSome 1.825m people are out of work, with a quarterly rise of 140,000 recorded between July and September.

But counties, rather than major cities, are bearing the brunt of the downturn, according to Phil Gregory, research and marketing assistant at Local Futures.

A disproportionate number of areas in the south of England are experiencing high increases in unemployment, he added.

In particular, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Dorset have suffered the most, said Mr Gregory in an article published by The Guardian.

These five counties are home to half of the 43 districts with the highest percentage change in unemployment.

Ranking of unemployment increases
(October 07 - October 08)
Rank Area% change
Top 10
1 Crawley100.00
2Mid Sussex83.33
3Fareham71.43
4East Staffordshire69.23
5Adur66.67
6East Dorset66.67
7Purbeck66.67
8Tandridge66.67
9Poole66.67
10South Derbyshire66.67
Bottom 10
397Camden0.00
398Ceredigion0.00
399Hackney0.00
400Lambeth-2.56
401Boston-4.00
402Western Isles-4.55
403Brent-5.56
404Southwark-5.56
405Cambridge-7.14
406Slough-8.70
source: Local Futures

"Restaurants, hotels, business services, distribution and finance are all experiencing the largest falls in employment.

"The construction industry has also been badly impacted in terms of increased redundancies and reduced vacancies.

But major cities so far remain largely unscathed.

"London has actually experienced falling unemployment in three boroughs, and static rates in several others," said Mr Gregory.

"This is because redundancies by workplace do not necessarily affect the local workforce."

The impact of the downturn on consumer confidence is also having a significant effect on unemployment locally.

"Any district relying on high levels of local spending and consumption will be at risk," said Mr Gregory.

It was important for regional and local agencies to assess their exposure and for the government's national response to have a targeted, local focus.

See also:
          • Police urged to target rural concerns (30 July 2008)
         
Rural constabularies face budget cap (28 March 2008)
          Crime rises faster in the countryside (26 March 2008)
          Police ask rural residents to pay for patrols (18 March 2008)
          Police 'failing' in fight against rural crime (21 February 2008)
          Text messages to catch rural criminals (14 February 2008)
          Crime soars in the countryside (16 July 2007)


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