Somerset County Council

Somerset Economic Assessment


Somerset County Council regularly prepares an economic assessment of the county. This assessment is undertaken in collaboration with district councils, other agency partners and local stakeholders.

The Somerset Economic Assessment (or State of the Economy Report) provides the council and our key partners with a robust analysis of economic conditions. It presents key economic data and analysis to enable understanding of the county's strengths, weaknesses and economic performance. We use this information to help set our priorities and make the case for funding to develop Somerset's economic infrastructure.

Here is the State of the Somerset Economy Report 2016.

Key facts from the report

  • The credit crunch caused Somerset’s economy to shrink by 4.6% between 2007 and 2010. However, since 2012 the Somerset economy has been growing at a faster rate than the UK.
  • In 2014, the Somerset economy was worth £9.586 billion, an increase of 3.2% since 2013. Without policy intervention, by 2030, the Somerset economy is expected to be worth £13.892bn; a growth of 44.9% from its 2014 level. 
  • The majority of Somerset’s economic value or ‘GVA’ (£6.7bn in 2014) is generated by service-based industries. Production and manufacturing play a greater role in the County than at a national level.
  • Somerset has a higher employment rate than the UK overall (78.5% compared to 72.6%) and higher levels of self-employment than the UK (17.5% compared to 14.7%). The proportion of people in the County who are self-employed has increased by 20% since 2009.
  • According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2014 there were 22,370 businesses in Somerset, an increase of 2.3% on the previous year. Somerset’s economy is predominantly made up of small businesses. 76.3% of the County’s businesses have fewer than 5 employees and a further 13% have 5-9 employees. Somerset performs well in terms of business density, with 42 businesses per 1,000 population, compared to 36 nationally.
  • Average earnings in Somerset are consistently lower than the UK level but gross disposable household income is approximately 2% higher.


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