Impact of economic downturn on Herefordshire

Herefordshire PartnershipJust over a week ago, the Herefordshire Information and Research Network held a seminar on the effect of the current economic downturn on Herefordshire.

Presenters at the seminar included Gill Swaithes of Herefordshire Council’s Research Team and Phil Vallely from JobCentre Plus.

For those not at the seminar, the presentations are available from Herefordshire’s website. The presentations provide a useful insight into how the developing downturn is impacting employment, housing, tourism and crime.

The number of claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance in Herefordshire rose by 73.35% from April 2008 to January 2009. Only Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Telford & Wrekin saw a higher percentage increase in claimants in the West Midlands over the same period.

The average duration of a Jobseeker’s Allownace claim shows a downward trend over an eighteen month period to January 2009.

However, Herefordshire still has a relatively low unemployment rate of 2.5% compared with the regional rate of 4.5% and national rate for England of 3.4%.

The greatest number of redundancies notified to JobCentre Plus were in the manufacturing sector, with Hereford the worst affected area in the county.

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