PolicyDepartment is proud to present its COVID-19 Impacts and Recovery report for Dorset, undertaken for Dorset LEP. The report analyses the mechanisms by which the pandemic and the public health response to it affects economies. This includes the risk and resilience factors that drive local economic outcomes and how these stack up for the county.
It finds that Dorset is performing very close to the UK economic average: output is holding up slightly better but the labour market has taken a bigger hit owing to its large tourism and construction sectors.
Dorset’s strategic priorities going into the crisis, outlined in its Local Industrial Strategy, still look very relevant – indeed they even appear to anticipate some of the new trends: its One Health programme focuses on the nexus between the environment and human and animal health; re-imaging town centres and supporting a digital revolution in the way we live and work is even more relevant today.
The challenge now – as for place leaders everywhere – is to ensure action plans take account of a weaker labour market, and the accelerated trends and new drivers in public policy.
For national governments, getting the balance right between revenue and capital funding for economic development will be important: a weaker labour market demands a new focus on job creation, but also requires investment in the services that support people to get new skills and pursue new careers.