What will spending cuts mean for the West Midlands?

Tomorrow sees the long awaited publication of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. It will end months of speculation by setting up where the cuts in government spending will fall and how deep they will be. But what might it all mean for the West Midlands?

To try and answer this question, the Observatory has carried out a number of pieces of work over the last few weeks. These are summarised in a new report published today.  Amongst its findings are that:

  • An estimated £43 billion as spent on public services in the West Midlands in 2008-09 and the public sector employed nearly half a million people
  • More than 80,000 public service jobs could be lost in the West Midlands by 2016
  • Up to 300,000 private sector jobs are at risk due to spending cuts, although actual job losses will be lower than that
  • The places which will be hardest hit in the short term are those with concentrations of public sector jobs, such as Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Dudley, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Wolverhampton and Worcester
  • In the longer term, some of these places are likely to recover well, but others will continue to suffer because they have weaker economies. Places most vulnerable in the longer term include Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Stoke-on-Trent, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Wyre Forest (Kidderminster)

The report draws on information from a number of other reports published by the Observatory in recent weeks. These include a briefing paper on the local impact of public sector job cuts, a series of projections based on our Policy Assessment Model and a report identifying locations vulnerable to cuts in public sector spending.

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Unemployment in the West Midlands climbs again to almost a quarter of a million

Office for National Statistics logoLatest data released by the Office for National Statistics (pdf, 311kb) yesterday showed that the recession continues to hit the West Midlands particularly hard.

The official ILO measure of unemployment has now reached 9.3%, up from 6.3% a year ago. This is a full percentage point higher than any other English region and is two percentage points higher than the average rate for England.

The number unemployed in the West Midlands rose by 42,000 over the last quarter.

There are now 80,000 more unemployed people in the region than there were a year ago, taking the total close to a quarter of a million unemployed (246,000).

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Black Country recession updates

bc-recession-reportOur colleagues at the Black Country Observatory have produced the first Black Country Recession Intelligence report.

These reports are being produced on a monthly basis by the Observatory as part of  a ‘Black Country Recession Intelligence Group’ comprising of representatives from the Black Country Local Authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships. The reports aim to provide real-time evidence as a background to policy debate in the sub-region.

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