Shropshire

Buoyant firms make Shropshire resilient, study suggests

With several buoyant business sectors, Shropshire is the West Midlands' second most resilient county to withstand shocks like spending cuts, according to research.

The BBC commissioned Experian to assess how resilient each English council region is to economic shocks, such as public sector cuts.

The government will announce its spending review on 20 October.

Shropshire is 11th nationally in terms of resilient sectors, the study says.

Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has said that public sector unemployment could affect one in four living in rural areas of the West Midlands region.

The regional development agency said last month that its evidence showed that currently 25% of rural jobs in the West Midlands region are in the public sector.

Lord Digby Jones, former chief of the CBI, told BBC News that private sector workers - who have taken pay cuts to try to keep their jobs - were "fed up" with the public sector, which he said had to face up to the government cuts.

Rural areas contribute 33% to the region's economy and as much as 80% of land in the West Midlands is rural, AWM said.

More than 30% cent of the region's population living in rural areas with 34% working in them.

The Experian research showed that in Shropshire, agricultural, fishing and banking sectors were faring well despite the tough economic climate.

There are a low number of new businesses starting up in the county, unlike Telford and Wrekin which has recorded the fifth most "business births" in the West Midlands region.

Companies in the county are also the best in the West Midlands region for paying invoices on time, the research revealed.

Resilience: Full Data

DownloadExperian resilience data - in full[645kb]

DownloadExperian methodology[41kb]

Meanwhile, the borough of Telford and Wrekin has the fourth highest number of firms that export goods abroad in the region and is 39th nationally.

But both areas are ranked high on the regional list for the number of firms with a good adaptive capacity - businesses that have shown signs of distress in the past but have since recovered indicating they will be resilient to any future economic shocks.

In June, the Office for Budget Responsibility said it expected 600,000 jobs to be lost in the public sector across the UK in the next six years.

Chancellor George Osborne will announce the government's spending review on 20 October.

BBC Radio Shropshire is hosting a debate about the research from 0900 BST on Friday.

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