posted by Cptn
According to those sooth-sayers and star-gazers in the South West Observatory Intelligence Network, ‘the increase in unemployment and the downturn in the housing market across the region will be the hot topics for 2009.’ No shit, Sherlock.
Taking the figures for 2008, where unemployment in the region rose from 3.7 per cent to 4.2 per cent, affecting close to 16,000 people in the region, they reckon an additional 58,000 in the region could find themselves out of work in 2009/10.
“Coupled with this comes the end to the housing boom, which saw prices in the region peak in 2007 at levels some 214 per cent higher than in the previous decade,” they say. “According to the Halifax’s regional price index, South West house prices fell by 12.8 per cent between 2007 and 2008 – a rate slightly higher than the national average. As a result, negative equity now threatens increasing numbers of households.”
Martin Boddy, Chairman of the South West Observatory, took time away from the telescope to tell the PRSD: “Realistically, 2009 will be a hard year for many in the region. But we may not be hit as badly as other parts of the country. We do not expect unemployment in the South West, as a whole, to reach the national levels of up to 7.5 per cent, although some parts will be hard hit.”
For detailed analysis of the economic, social and environmental issues affecting the region, download a copy of the latest Barometer (warning: optimism can go down as well as up).
• How pessimistic do you feel for 2009? Get in touch.