Suffolk fighting back against recession

SUFFOLK appears to be holding up well against the economic doom and gloom when compared to its neighbours, figures out today show.

According to research commissioned by public sector trade union Unison there are an average of 3.2 people unemployed for every job advertised in the county.

This compares to 4.3 in Essex and 4.4 in Norfolk, while in the east of England as a whole the number is 14.

Areas including Ipswich and Waveney have the highest levels of unemployment compared to available jobs, while Suffolk Costal and Mid Suffolk have the lowest.

Last night business chiefs said the county appeared to be performing well, but warned the situation could change following the Government’s spending review which will be announced on Wednesday.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the figures reflected their own findings.

According to their last economic survey business confidence improved during the last quarter - in contrast to the national picture which suggests there has been some slow down in recovery.

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“These figures demonstrate that Suffolk businesses are feeling confident and performing well in what are still very difficult trading conditions,” he said.

“Clearly the Government’s spending review will make interesting reading and we’ll have to wait to hear the detail before making a judgment call as to the impact on the county’s improving business confidence.”

Nicola Currie, regional director of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), said the feedback she had received from the agricultural sector was positive.

“I think farming is always quite resilient,” she said. “It tends to ride out these recessions because many farmers had to do some belt tightening a long time ago.”

Greg Grant, regional secretary for Unision in the eastern region, warned the situation could get worse following the Government’s spending review, which is expected to lead to huge unemployment in the public and private sector.

“Even now, before the major public spending cuts have hit home, there are more people unemployed than jobs to go around,” he said.

“Drastic reductions in spending will lay the groundwork for adding upwards of a million more public and private sector workers to the job loss totals.

“Heavy job losses in the private and public sector will only lock East Anglia into a downwards spiral until the much-feared double dip recession takes hold.”

Number of people unemployed for every job advertised in Suffolk

District Number unemployed

Babergh 3.4

Forest Heath 2.4

Ipswich 5.7

Mid Suffolk 2.0

St Edmundsbury 2.6

Suffolk Coastal 1.8

Waveney 4.3

Total 3.2

Source: Unison