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State of the Region 2020 Full Report

Summary Data

The West Midlands Combined Authority Area

The region has large differences between its towns and cities, with Birmingham dominating most statistics, as would be expected as the largest Local Authority. But there is a great variation in performance within the region (from last year’s State of the Region): 

  • There are 4m residents in the WMCA area. The Black Country has the highest population at 1.19m, followed by Birmingham at 1.1m and Coventry at 366k
  • There were 32k apprenticeship starts across the WMCA region an increase of 8.7% double the national rate of 4.7%
  • The number of people with highest qualifications at NVQ4 has increased by 4.4% to 860k compared to a UK increase of 2.9%. Meaning a third of the working age population is educated to degree level. The region needs another 173k to reach the national average.
  • The number with no qualifications however have increased by 6,800 and increase of 2.4% compared to a UK decrease of -1.3%.
  • The employment rate was 72.4% compared to 75.6% for the UK as a whole, a net increase of 25,500 more people in employment. The employment rate is highest in Warwick at 86%, Stratford-on-Avon at 85% and lowest in Birmingham at 65%
  • The unemployment rate as 5.5% compared to 4% for the UK a net increase of 4,200
  • The WMCA region has 1.8m employees and business, professional and financial services accounts for the highest percentage of jobs at just under 22% and the sector is increasing.
  • Birmingham has 500k jobs followed by 450k in the Black Country, 162k in Coventry, with the lowest number of jobs in Tamworth 29k and Wyre Forest at 32k.
  • Bromsgrove has the highest earnings at £34.4k only slightly above Solihull at £34.1k, lowest earnings are in Sandwell as £24.8k and Wolverhampton at £25.4k. However the gross domestic household income has far less disparity, with Coventry and Warwickshire at £21.6k, Birmingham and Solihull £17.9k and Black Country £15.6k
  • Overall deprivation is high with 34.5% of local areas in the most deprived in the country. Birmingham has 41% of its neighbourhoods in the 10% most deprived, followed by Walsall at 26% and Wolverhampton at 21%. 
  • Birmingham GVA is £29bn, and the next highest was the Black Country at £21.2bn, Solihull at £9.8m, and Coventry at £9.5m. The lowest is in Wyre Forest at £1.4bn followed by Tamworth at £1.5bn. However GVA per employee is more balanced with narrower gaps demonstrating the greater numbers of “lower value” roles such as Birmingham at £56k, but the highest is Solihull at £80k, and Warwick at £73K to the lowest of £41k in Walsall.
  • There were 170,475 active enterprises, and increase of 1.7%, where the UK experienced a decrease of 0.3%. Birmingham has 46.6k businesses, followed by the Black Country at 38.3k,Coventry 11.6k and Bromsgrove 11.5k, this order is replicated in the number of business starts. 18,805 enterprise births in 2013 in the WMCA (3 LEP), 42.1% (7,910) were still active in 2018. This is slightly below the UK survival rate of 42.4%
  • Solihull has the best school readiness levels at 72.6% through to Sandwell at 66.8%. The average Progress 8 score in the West Midlands 7 Met. area has increased from -0.14 in 2018 to -0.08 in 2019. Birmingham was rated as ‘Above Average’; both Solihull and Wolverhampton as ‘Average’; while Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall were deemed ‘Below Average’. Solihull has the best school readiness levels at 72.6% through to Sandwell at 66.8%  
  • In the West Midlands region, the value of exports has decreased from £32.6bn in the year of 2019 Q1 to £30.6bn in the year 2020 Q1
  • There are 1,735,709 dwellings in the WMCA (3 LEP) area in 2019, an increase of 16,615 dwellings since 2018