Faring well post-pandemic: Shropshire’s economic recovery continues
Data revealed earlier this week shows Shropshire’s* economic recovery is one of the strongest in the West Midlands, following the pandemic.
Analysis from major sources confirmed that Shropshire’s economic recovery is heading in the right direction.
Key headlines include:-
- The number of people in employment has risen
- The total number of businesses in Shropshire has increased
- Shropshire continues to support high levels of self-employment.
Unemployment figures have also risen slightly, but Shropshire remains below the national average.
14% of Shropshire workers are self-employed, which is well above the national average of 9.2%. The number of self-employed individuals in the county has also increased compared to pre-pandemic levels, while nationally the number has reduced overall.
Gross Value Added (GVA) in Shropshire has fallen slightly compared to 2018, but this includes the period including the pandemic, and the drop is not as much as may have been feared initially.
The average gross salary in Shropshire has increased, and although it remains below the national average, the gap has closed by nearly 50% since 2020.
The percentage of highly skilled workers has increased from 39.3% to 41.8%, and 80% of 16-64 year olds in Shropshire are economically active, compared with 79.4% nationally.
House prices in Shropshire have risen on average to £290,845 (February 2023), compared to £395,571 in the South East, which means buying property in Shropshire remains an attractive option compared to other areas across the country.
Finally, the number of claimants in Shropshire (those claiming unemployment benefits) has decreased by 4.3% over the last year, with more people moving into employment.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth, regeneration and housing, said: –
“Globally we are all still recovering from the pandemic, but it is really encouraging to read such promising headlines for Shropshire when looking at the county’s economic recovery.
“These figures illustrate a great amount of resilience of Shropshire people and businesses, and I’m pleased council funding and initiatives put into place when the pandemic hit, have helped in this recovery phase.
“It is also a great tribute to the spirit of the Shropshire business community that the county appears to be emerging favourably following the pandemic, and as a community, we continue to protect and nurture the health of our local economy.
“We still have a way to go but the direction of a travel is an optimistic one.”
*Shropshire, in this instance, is referred to by the Shropshire Council administrative boundary.
- Office of National Statistics (ONS)
- 2021 Annual Population Survey
- Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings, 2022