Posted on 8 September 2010 by Clare Rapkins
The Observatory has published this year’s review of West Midlands skills performance .
Our summary skills index based on a range of measures (such as GVA per employee, investment in training, and qualification attainment amongst young people and adults) reveals the West Midlands skills performance has begun to widen again, from 1.1 points in 2007 to 2.3 points in 2009. As a result the West Midlands has dropped from 5th to 6th place in the league table of regions.
Filed under: Economy & Labour Force, Research, Skills, West Midlands | Tagged: earnings, investment in training, productivity, qualifications, skills peformance, statistics, West Midlands | Leave a comment »
Posted on 3 September 2010 by Gavin Wray
The August 2010 economic update report (pdf, 482kb) from Advantage West Midlands is now available.
The report includes headlines and statistics, both national and from the West Midlands, on the state of the economy, inflation, the labour market, house prices, manufacturing, automotive, services sectors, construction, and retail.
The updates are published monthly here.
Filed under: Economy & Labour Force, West Midlands | Tagged: labour market, statistics, West Midlands, West Midlands economy | Leave a comment »
Posted on 13 August 2010 by Susana Flores
Photo: Worcester bridge by Russell Trow
Climate change has an impact on businesses. Flooding, hot summers, droughts and severe storms and winds can damage business premises and disrupt suppliers and customers.
Here are just a few examples:
- Business directly impacted by the 2007 floods took an average of 26 weeks to return to normal operating capacity. Some small businesses can take up to two years to recover from a flood – and some do not survive.
- Rail commuters in Birmingham endured extensive delays on 17 July 2006 as the extreme heat caused railway lines to buckle. Many services from New Street Station in Birmingham had to be cancelled and some passengers had to wait more than two hours.
- The flooding in July 2007 was caused by a month’s rainfall in 1–2 hours and caused interruptions to electricity and water supplies, and significant disruption to road and rail networks.
- After the flooding in June and July 2007, insurers received 165,000 claims in the UK, estimated to total £3bn in insured damages. Economic and social costs were far higher, as not all costs to businesses can be insured.
The West Midlands Climate Change Adaptation Partnership knows that it is crucial that businesses understand the consequences of climate change. This is why they released a practical guide explaining how small and medium businesses in the West Midlands can save and make money from climate change (pdf, 357kb).
Planning and being prepared are the way forward as opposed to just reacting whenever disaster hits. This will allow businesses to save money in the long term, continue operations in spite of the weather and identify potential business opportunities.
The guide provides a series of questions that business should consider around:
- Information technology and security of data
- Suppliers, logistics and delivery and products
- Processes, stock and raw materials
- Agricultural and horticultural rural business
- Emergency contacts and important documents
The guide also provides examples of opportunities for small businesses, useful tools and contact details of regional support available.
Photo credit: Worcester bridge by Russell Trow.
Filed under: Enterprise, Environment, Low carbon, Sustainable development, West Midlands | Tagged: climate change, droughts, extreme weather, flooding, guidance, small and medium businesses, smes, West Midlands | Leave a comment »
Posted on 11 August 2010 by Gavin Wray
Updated monthly data on the West Midlands labour market were released today by the Office for National Statistics.
- Unemployment in the West Midlands has fallen — by 66,000 people over the last year, and 27,000 people in the last quarter. There are, however, 59,000 more unemployed people in the West Midlands than in February 2008.
- Unemployment has fallen faster in the West Midlands than anywhere else in the country over the last year and in the last quarter. However, unemployment rose more sharply here than elsewhere earlier in the recession, so essentially this is a rebalancing of employment levels.
- We’re not out of the woods yet. Employment levels have not yet reached their pre-recession levels, and we’re expecting a significant loss of public sector jobs in the coming months, which could wipe out the recent drop in unemployment altogether.
Filed under: Data, Economy & Labour Force, Employment, Office for National Statistics, Regional Data and Intelligence Network, West Midlands | Tagged: employment, labour market, labour market statistics, unemployment, West Midlands | Leave a comment »
Posted on 29 July 2010 by Oliver Nicholls
By isolating the ‘risk factors’ and certain combinations of ‘risk factors’ associated with a person’s chance of being out of work, new analysis from the West Midlands Observatory can help decision makers get to grips with the complex interplay of issues behind the current high rate of worklessness across the West Midlands.
The research is already informing the Department for Work and Pensions in its review of welfare policy, as it provides insights into the major factors influencing a person’s chances of being in or out of work. It shows that these chances can vary greatly according to the individual’s background and personal characteristics. The research demonstrates how combinations of factors such as having no formal qualifications or a long-term health problem or disability, or being a lone parent, affect a person’s chance of being out of work.
Filed under: Economic inclusion, Economy & Labour Force, Employment, Research, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory | Tagged: Economic inclusion, economy, employment, jobs, jobseekers allowance, labour market, Research, West Midlands, West Midlands economy, West Midlands Regional Observatory, westmidlands, WMRO | Leave a comment »