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Topics relating to the economy

Herefordshire has very low unemployment but average earnings are significantly lower than in the West Midlands region and England and this gap shows no signs of decreasing.  However, the gender pay gap in Herefordshire is smaller than in the West Midlands as a whole.  Agriculture, food and drink processing, and manufacturing continue to comprise a significant proportion of the county's economy and service industries are under-represented.  Rates of self-employment are higher than regionally and nationally.  Parts of the county remain relatively remote from the motorway and rail network and broadband connectivity has been an issue.  Historically, these factors have had a constraining effect on economic growth, however, in 2017, Herefordshire’s Gross Value Added (a measure of the value of the economy) was £3,878 million; representing 8% growth since 2016 and the third highest annual growth of all the West Midlands local authority areas.

The cost-of-living crisis

The economic aftershocks of the coronavirus pandemic together with the war in Ukraine are causing problems across the world.  In the UK inflation has reached a forty-year high and soaring energy, fuel and food prices have led to an unfolding cost-of-living crisis. 

The cost of living crisis in Herefordshire