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 2015, the Somerset economy was worth £11.1 billion. GVA (Gross Value Added) per head was £20,441, lagging behind the national level of £25,601.
- The ‘GVA gap’ between Somerset and the UK fluctuates but the overall trend shows the gap is increasing. In 1997, the UK’s GVA per head was 18.9% higher than Somerset and in 2015 that gap stood at 25.2%. In the short term, the gap has reduced from 26.9% in 2013.
- There are currently 21,945 active enterprises in Somerset (2015). The County saw a net increase in the number of active enterprises between 2015 and 2014
- The number of business start-ups has been steadily rising since the financial crisis. In 2015, there were 2,370 business births in Somerset, a rate of 10.8%. 1,815 businesses failed in 2015.
- Somerset has a consistently lower out-of-work claimant rate than the UK and Heart of the South West LEP area. Somerset’s claimant rate is steadily declining and is now similar to the low levels seen before the recession began in 2008.
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.