The latest Good Growth for Cities report, published by PwC, has revealed Oxford’s economic resilience despite the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report, which looks into the economic impact of coronavirus on local and regional economies across the UK, highlighted how several cities – including Oxford – have benefited from a ‘sectoral mix’ with its ‘performance on broader economic and social indicators’ helping to provide resilience.
Good Growth for Cities measures the performance of the UK’s largest cities against 10 indicators that the public think are most important when it comes to economic wellbeing. The Index was developed by PwC and the think tank Demos in the aftermath of the financial crisis in response to the sense that we need to look beyond GDP headlines to measure economic success.
Two cities in the South West – Bristol and Swindon – are in the top fifteen of this year’s Good Growth for Cities index. Bristol ranks sixth out of 42, Swindon 11th.
Seven out of nine cities in the South East score above the UK average, with Oxford, Reading and Southampton ranking first, second and third respectively in the national index.
In the report’s index of cities, Oxford increased its lead in first place. The report stating that ‘Oxford performs particularly strongly in jobs, income, health and skills of the adult population, scoring within the top five cities for each of these variables.’
The index tracks the factors that the public consider most important to their economic wellbeing, namely; health, jobs, housing and income ranked as the most important of its 10 economic and social factors, followed by skills, the environment, transport, income distribution, work-life balance and business start-ups.
Meanwhile, the report revealed around 6.3 per cent of eligible businesses in Oxford took up the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
One further piece of analysis showed scores for the 38 Local Enterprise Partnership areas in England, with Oxfordshire coming in second place.