Shropshire Council

Economic activity

The number of people in Shropshire who are economically active has fallen slightly since 2011, despite overall population growth. The ageing population and economic circumstances at the time of the census have undoubtedly influenced the trend.

Traditionally, Shropshire has enjoyed high levels of participation in the labour market, especially amongst the 16-64 population. Considering the total 16+ population, fewer Shropshire residents are now economically active than the national average, which reverses the 2011 situation.

Lower levels of economic activity also translates into a largely stagnant number of people who are employed. Although growth has been low, the number of people in employment in the West Midlands and England has increased, which has not been the case in Shropshire.

Shropshire continues to support very high levels of self-employment, especially in rural parts of the county.

Unemployment was lower in 2021 than in 2011, both regionally and nationally as well as in Shropshire. This notwithstanding, rates were still elevated in 2021 as a result of the national restrictions adopted as a result of the pandemic. The difference in unemployment rates in 2021 and 2011 highlights the exceptionally high level of unemployment that was still in evidence in 2011 following the economic downturn in 2008.

Please see attached bulletins for more information:

  • Census bulletin - economic activity
  • Census bulletin - economic inactivity
  • Census bulletin - self-employment
  • Census bulletin - industry
  • Census bulletin - occupation
  • Census bulletin - method of travel to work
  • Census bulletin - distance travelled to work

If you have any difficulties accessing or reading the pdf files, please contact the Business Development: Data, Analysis, and Intelligence Team at Shropshire Council using the email