However, regardless of the performance of the sector over the first half of the year confidence remains high with +45% of manufacturers being confident of improving A relatively strong performance of the service sector in the profitability over the next 12 months. In spite of a poor performance of the economy over the past 12 months and in particular in the first half of the year, the labour market in the region remains rather resilient. In spite of an increase in pessimism regarding employment prospects in manufacturing sector, +14% of manufacturing firms expect to increase their workforce in the next three months. Depreciation standards used to be extremely basic. Staff reporter Mike Rutledge contributed to this story. The latest 2001 Census data from the Office for National Statistics shows that South of England has seen an increase in population, while other parts of the country have seen their populations increase at a much smaller pace or even decline.
The working age population in the region increased at a much smaller rate than the population in London, which is not surprising considering that London had a much larger influx of immigrants. However, unlike London which has seen a decrease of people over the working age by -7.39% this group increased in the region and is likely to increase at a much faster rate than in most other parts of the country.
The prime reason behind this inflow of older people from other parts of the country and in particular London is better ‘quality of life’ in the South East than in most other English regions. In years to come, as more people get older they are increasingly likely to move from large urban centres such as London to other areas with the South East receiving a significant share. Although there are some encouraging signs which show that the children’s age group (0-15) has been growing faster than the old age group (people over the retirement age), this may not be enough to offset the impact of the general population getting older in years to come.
The increase in dependency ratio may not be a bad thing (on the contrary) as long as it is driven by an increase in children and not by an increase in people of old age. A closer examination of the data reveals that in percentage terms total number of children has risen marginally faster than 64+males/59+females age group. Within the next 10-15 years the post war ‘baby-boom’ generation will retire, there will be more people of pensionable age than children.