CAMBRIDGESHIRE: New figures show the county's economy is proving resilient

THE county s economy is proving to be more resilient to the recession according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics today despite national unemployment figures rising above 2 million. Figures for February 2009 show that the number o

THE county's economy is proving to be more resilient to the recession according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics today despite national unemployment figures rising above 2 million.

Figures for February 2009 show that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) rose to 9,320, a rise of 1,593 on the previous month, or 2.5 per cent of working age adults in the county.

However, this percentage increase is much less than the regional and national picture. The average number of people claiming JSA across the eastern region stands at 3.3 per cent, with a national average of 3.8 per cent.

Cambridgeshire also looks to be faring better on a number of fronts, including:


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n People are more likely to be claiming JSA for shorter periods in Cambridgeshire, with 16.8 per cent of people still likely to claiming JSA after 6 months compared with 18.9 per cent in the East and 21.3 per cent nationally.

n The average weekly wage for Cambridgeshire residents in 2008 was �512.70 compared to an eastern region average of �498.70 and a national average of �479.30

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n A higher qualified workforce than the national average

Councillor Jill Tuck, Chair of Cambridgeshire Together and Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "It's good news to see that families, individuals and businesses in Cambridgeshire are coping in the recession.

"However, we realise that there are many people across Cambridgeshire's communities who may be struggling and we have put in place practical measures such as www.weatherthestorm.org.uk and extra funding for advice agencies if people need to seek guidance."

Martin Garratt, Director of the Greater Cambridge Partnership which is a key business partner of Cambridgeshire Together, said: "Cambridgeshire is reasonably well placed to come through the recession because its economy is based on a broad employment base, from the hi-tech sector to public administration and smaller individual businesses. Although Cambridgeshire seems to be doing comparatively well now, things can change and residents can be assured that we will be keeping a close check on developments and will respond accordingly."

Cambridgeshire Together is a group of the county's most influential organisations working in partnership to improve the quality of life for all who live, learn, work and travel in Cambridgeshire.

They have developed a range of practical measures to help local people through the recession, including the advice website www.weatherthestorm.org.uk and the �500,000 financial aid package for voluntary and community organisations who are helping struggling residents through the economic turmoil.

Figures used in this release can be accessed at www.nomisweb.co.uk

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