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How can we make Plymouth’s economy sustainable?

Historically, Plymouth has:

  • Low skill, low wage roles

  • Low business density

  • Low job density

  • Less flexible working conditions

  • Low female wages and participation

  • High economic inactivity

These are creating imbalances in Plymouth’s economy.


On top of this, average wages in Plymouth are consistently behind, with the gap widening.

There are 3 groups of people that show in significant numbers, as struggling.

  1. Those workers with caring responsibilities

  2. Those workers with health challenges

  3. Those workers from deprived backgrounds

We need to move to remove these obstacles.


Sectors and micro-business density

The gap between Plymouth, the South West and Great Britain is widening.



Sector balance in Plymouth

The sector balance in Plymouth underpins our low wage, low skill economy


The balance causes problems for people with caring responsibilities and health challenges


According to the Financial Times, sectors such as retail, healthcare, transport, accommodation and good and construction are most responsible for long terms sickness


The best and worst sectors for flexible working according to Working Families research published in October 2022:



How can we make Plymouth’s economy sustainable?

A sustainable economy is not only about being successful but one that breaks down barriers.


The economy needs to work for employees of today as well as future employees.

We need to think about making the economy work for Plymouth businesses today and the future businesses.


We recognise there are imbalances across Plymouth’s economy and the Plymouth Charter aims to address these.


For example:

  • Local buy in

  • Supporting businesses through collaboration and delivery

  • Climate changes needed for the future

If you want to find out more, please feel free to get in touch on plymouthcharter@plymouth.gov.uk.

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