Economy & Jobs
This section of the site provides information about the economy in Somerset.
For a quick overview the Economy team at Somerset County Council have produced a dashboard with some basic information about the economy in Somerset and how it compares nationally.
Somerset as a whole has a mixed economy of agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. It is home to major businesses such as Agusta Westland, Clarks International, IBM, Butlins and Yeo Valley, as well as RNAS Yeovilton. The construction and operation of a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point power station has the potential to bring thousands of jobs into the county.
- In 2014, the Somerset economy was worth £9.586 billion, up 3.2% since 2013. However, Somerset’s economic productivity consistently lags behind the UK level.
- In 2013, the number of new businesses in Somerset exceeded the number of business failures for the first time since 2008. Business births have continued to exceed deaths in 2014 and 2015. The total number of businesses in the county has been rising steadily since the start of 2015.
- Encouragingly, employment in Somerset has also increased in the past few years. The claimant count (Job Seeker’s Allowance and worklessness-related Universal Credit) has risen slightly in 2016 to around 1.2% of the working age population. However, numbers are half what they were in 2012/13.
- Rates do vary across the county. South Somerset has a relatively low rate of male claimants, West Somerset has experienced the greatest decrease in total claimants since 2013, while rates are considerably higher in parts of Bridgwater in particular.
Significant improvements in superfast broadband connectivity are being delivered through the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) Programme. CDS is investing £94m and will bring superfast broadband to 90% of premises in the programme area. This means that most residents and businesses in Devon and Somerset will have broadband speeds of over 24Mbps by the end of 2016. By then, it is also aimed to ensure that every premise within the programme area has a broadband speed of at least 2Mbps. CDS is on track to achieve its ambition of 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2020.
Somerset is also part of the Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership
If you have questions about economy or jobs in Somerset, please contact us using the site.