Recovery JSNA: Economy
This JSNA chapter attempts to provide understanding the impact the pandemic has had on the economy in Wiltshire.
The economy is a complex system. Data at a small scale such as a local authority is often not possible to obtain and many datasets have a time lag. That said it is hoped that the chapter is still of benefit.
Wiltshire population and employment sectors
Employment sectors: Community Areas
Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society
ONS publish a summary of the economic impact of Coronavirus every week.
Elements from the main point section of the 14th of January 2021 publication have been included here:
- ·The percentage of businesses trading has fallen from 84% in mid-December to 71% in early January as the impact of the third national lockdown in England begin to impact.
- ·The percentage of employees on furlough has risen from 11% in mid-December to around 14% in early January.
- ·32% of the workforce were working remotely and 51% were working at their normal place of work.
- ·Between 15 January and 22 January, total online job adverts decreased by around 30% of their 2019 average, decreasing in the South West.
- ·In the week ending 10th January 2021, footfall is around 35% of the level the same week a year ago, while footfall in high streets and shopping centres remained a little below 75%.
Labour market overview
ONS publish a labour market overview every month. Elements from the main point section have been included here and on the following slide:
- ·Since February 2020, the number of payroll employees has fallen by 828,000.
- ·Data from the ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS) shows a large increase in the unemployment rate while the employment rate continues to fall. The number of redundancies reached a record high in September to November 2020, although the weekly data show it has dropped from the peak in September.
- ·Annual growth in average employee pay continued to strengthen, but this growth is increasingly being driven by compositional effects of a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs.
- ·Although decreasing over the year, total hours worked increased from the low levels in the previous quarter, even with the September to November period covering a time when a number of coronavirus lockdown measures were reintroduced.
- ·The number of people temporarily away from work has fallen since its peak in April and May 2020, although it has risen slightly in November. The number of people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay has also fallen since the start of the pandemic but risen slightly over the last month.
- ·There were an estimated 578,000 vacancies in the UK in October to December 2020; this is 224,000 fewer than a year ago and 81,000 more than the previous quarter.
- ·The Claimant Count increased slightly in December 2020, to 2.6 million; this includes both those working with low income or hours and those who are not working.
- ·Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) among employees for the three months September to November 2020 increased to 3.6%, and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) also increased to 3.6%.
Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey
ONS have created a new voluntary fortnightly business survey, which captures businesses’ responses on how their turnover, workforce prices, trade and business resilience have been affected in the two-week reference period.
Regional breakdown is available for a select number of the results. Some of the results from the survey that ran 27th of July to 9th of August are provided in the table below.
The ONS Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey asks businesses, “Does your business expect to make any of your workforce redundant over the next three months?”.
Currently the percentage saying yes is around 3% and around a quarter are unsure.
The survey also asks “Approximately what percentage of your workforce do you expect to be made redundant over the next three months?”
Currently the overall percentage is around 2.3%, however in some sectors the proportion is higher like Accommodation & Food Services it is 5.1% and in Administrative And Support Service Activities it is 4.2%
National estimates exist from independent surveys. However, currently no estimate was found to have a robust enough methodology to be quoted here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 20 March 2020. CJRS supports employers through the COVID-19 period.
Employers are able to claim CJRS support for employees furloughed from 1 March 2020. CJRS provided employers with financial support of up to 80% of their employees’ salary.
In October 2020, the scheme was altered to allow flexible furlough, which allowed employees to work part time but still receive up to 80% of their salary for the time they were not able to work.
In December 2020, the scheme was extended to April 2021.
Wiltshire, number of furloughed employments
In Wiltshire, the number of furloughed employments has dropped from around 34,000 at the end of July to around 13,000 at the end of October.
Slightly higher proportions of furloughed employments have been female than male.
In Wiltshire, in July around 14% of employments were furloughed which was lower than the England and South West average. By the end of October the proportion of employments furloughed had dropped to around 6% which was lower than the England average and similar to the South West average.
HMRC has not yet published data following the second and third lockdowns and its impact on the number of furloughed employments.
By employment sector
CJRS Furloughed employments by employment sector are provided nationally.
The two largest sectors claiming CJRS are Wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles and accommodation & food services.
The arts, entertainment, recreation and other services sector though not as large as the previously mentioned sectors has had one of higher proportional take-ups of furlough.
The take up percentage of furlough is higher in the younger age ranges and has reduced overtime for all age groups.
Since the 31st of July a higher take-up of the furlough scheme has occurred in female employments than male employments. This can be seen across England, South West and Wiltshire.
The Alternative Claimant Count statistics measure the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits by modelling what the count would have been if Universal Credit had been in place since 2013.
All age population on unemployment-related benefits
The percentage on the alternative claimant count has more than doubled in Wiltshire, the South West and the United Kingdom.
In Wiltshire the number of people claiming is around 12,000, compared to around 5,000 a year earlier.
Working age population on unemployment-related benefits in Wiltshire
The Wiltshire rate remains well below the UK average. Both the UK and Wiltshire have seen the number of claimants more than double as a result of the impact of the pandemic and the response to it.
Around 12,000 people in Wiltshire are now claiming unemployment related benefits compared to around 5,000 a year earlier.
16-24 year olds on unemployment-related benefits in Wiltshire
In Wiltshire around 550 per 10,000 of those aged 16-24 are claiming unemployment related benefits, this is lower than the 700 per 10,000 seen in the UK.
In Wiltshire this has more than doubled to around 2,300 people in November 2020 compared to around 850 a year earlier.
Kickstart apprenticeships have been developed to support this age group find or renter the workplace.
Claimant count by community area
Calne has the highest rate in Nov’20 with the claimant count more than doubling. Trowbridge (1,341) has the highest number of claims followed by Salisbury (1,228) and Chippenham (1,161).
Wilton has seen the biggest rise in claimant count more than triple in the last year, while Malmesbury and Tisbury have seen claims almost triple.
Melksham and Bradford on Avon have seem the claimant increase from around to the Wiltshire average to being above the average.
Council tax reductions
The council tax reduction (CTR) scheme can provide help with council tax costs. The amount of reduction will depend on circumstances, including income, savings, members of the household and council tax band.
Council Tax COVID-19 hardship fund 2020-21 – Local Authority Guidance
As part of its response to COVID-19, the Government announced in the Budget on 11 March that it would provide local authorities in England with £500m of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. The expectation is that the majority of the hardship fund will be used to provide council tax relief, alongside existing local council tax support schemes. This funding is distinct from the £5bn COVID-19 response fund to support public services.
The Government’s strong expectation is that billing authorities will provide all recipients of working age local council tax support (‘LCTS’) during the financial year 2020-21 with a further reduction in their annual council tax bill of £150, using their discretionary powers to reduce the liability of council tax payers outside of their formal LCTS scheme design.
Council tax reduction: Wiltshire Council caseload
Disabled People and Carers
The 2011 census reported that 46,425 households in Wiltshire included someone with a long term health problem or disability.
The 2011 Census (of England and Wales) reported that in Wiltshire:
- ·47,608 people said they provide unpaid care
- ·2,723 of carers (5.8%) are aged 24 and under
- ·11,876 of carers (25.1%) are aged 65 or over
- ·19.9% of carers provide 50+ hours of care each week
Carers may be able to claim carers allowance if they are aged 16+ and spend at least 35 hours per week caring for someone who is in receipt of certain benefits. You cannot usually receive carers allowance if you are in receipt of a state pension or certain other benefits. Carers who are not eligible for carers allowance may be eligible for Carer’s Credit which helps with gaps in their national insurance record if they care for someone for at least 20 hours per week.
As of February 2020, 7,170 people were registered as entitled to carers allowance in Wiltshire. The entitled carers figure was a little over 7,000 in 2019. The figures for the time period during the pandemic will not be out for a few months. Entitled cases show both the number of people in receipt of an allowance and those with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
In An Unequal Crisis (August 2020), Citizen’s Advice reports that nationally
- ·1 in 4 disabled people (27%) are facing redundancy, rising to 37% for those people whose disability has a substantial impact on their activities
- ·1 in 2 people who are extremely clinically vulnerable to coronavirus (48%) are facing redundancy
- ·2 in 5 people with caring responsibilities (39%), either for children or vulnerable adults, are facing redundancy
Young people who have responsibilities as a carer (young carers) are reported to be twice as likely to be NEET for six months or more. Commons Library Briefing 24 August 2018.
An apprenticeship is a real job where the apprentice learns and gains experience whilst being paid. The apprentice will be a normal employee with a contract of employment and annual leave. By the end of the apprenticeship, they will receive a qualification to prove they're qualified in their chosen field.
It can take between one and six years to complete an apprenticeship depending on the industry and qualification. Apprenticeships are funded from contributions made by the government and the employer.
A common misconception is that apprenticeships are for people without many qualifications, but this is simply not the case. Anyone who meets the below criteria can start an apprenticeship, whether they have just completed their GCSEs or if they have a master’s degree.
- ·Be 16 or over
- ·Not be in full-time education
- ·Live in England.
When describing apprenticeship activity we commonly talk about the number of apprenticeship role starts.
The apprenticeship year runs from August – July.
Since 2011, the average number of apprenticeship starts in Wiltshire has averaged just over 5,500.
The number of starts has dropped from a peak of around 6,500 in 15/16 & 16/17, down to 5,000 in 2019/20. The starts in that year were largely interfered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Starts during the last few quarters (May-October 2020) have dramatically decreased. Pre pandemic starts were around 1,500 per quarter, but are now down to 1,000.
As has been found elsewhere during the pandemic, youth employment has been particularly hit and this is the case for apprenticeships as well. However, the higher skill level apprenticeship starts have continued to see an increase.
In the most recent quarter (August – October 2020) for apprenticeship starts, older age groups continue to be less impacted than the younger age groups.
And though apprenticeship starts overall remain lower than previous years, plateauing at approximately 1000 per quarter since the first lockdown, organisations that are starting apprentices are getting them to start higher qualifications, likely upskilling there current workforce.
Though vacancy posting numbers can be sporadic, the numbers of unique vacancies being posted on the government portal each month has continued to recover and close to the amount seen in previous numbers, with only a slight decrease in September to October 2020 when the UK entered into its second and third lockdown periods, but these affected vacancy postings less severely than seen in April 2020 when the UK entered its first lockdown.
During the third lockdown the Government extended its employer incentives scheme from 31st January 2021 to 30th September 2021. Its incentives are currently: if an organisation hires an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 30th of September 2021 they can receive up to £3,000 as part of the Government's plan to support employers during the economic recovery. If they hire a new apprentice aged 16-24 you will receive an incentive payment of £2,000. For apprentices aged 25+ they will receive £1500 (when using the apprenticeship service). This is in addition to existing funding of £1000 for employers that hire an apprentice aged 16-18 or an apprentice aged 19-24 who has previously been in care or who has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan.
UK Finance publish statistics on the geographic distribution of personal loans by certain UK lenders (Barclays, CYBG, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander UK in Great Britain; Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank, First Trust Bank, Nationwide Building Society and Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland). This quarterly data meets a commitment to government to improve transparency about lending locations.
The estimated personal loan amount for community areas in Wiltshire at Q2 of 2019 is provided on the next slide.
The Personal loan dataset has a significant data lag and is unlikely to show the impact of the pandemic for another 6 months. However, it does provide an understanding of areas that were possible containing more debt than others.
No local economic projections exist.
HM Treasury publish Forecasts for the UK economy monthly. These represent a comparison of independent forecasts.
HM Treasury caveat the report by saying
This is a summary of published material reflecting the views of the forecasting organisations themselves and does not in any way provide new information on the Treasury’s own views. It contains only a selection of forecasters, which is subject to review. No significance should be attached to the inclusion or exclusion of any particular forecasting organisation. HM Treasury accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of material published in this comparison.