The South West’s agricultural workforce is 83,434 - 3.3% of the region's total working population (almost twice the national figure of 1.8%). In 1997, 13% of all business sites in the region were classified as agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing compared to the national average of 6.2%. The sector accounts for 2.1% of employees and 12.0% of self-employed in the region, compared to 1.2% and 5.7% respectively for England as a whole.
In the South West the agricultural workforce declined by 10% between 1987 and 1997, compared with 15% for England as a whole. Alongside the decline in total agricultural workforce there has been a significant trend towards part-time work. A fall of over 10,000 full-time workers over the last 10 years contrasts with an increase of 3,000 part-time workers. The number of seasonal or casual workers has also dropped by about 1,400. As a result, the downward pressure on wages has led to reduced spending in the local rural economy.
|Area||Agriculture (%)||Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (%)||Aged 16+ & Economically Active|
|Cornwall & Isles of Scilly||5.33||6.09||55.44|
(Sources: Regional Trends 1998; 1997 Mid-Year Population Estimates ONS; 1991 Census of Population)
Lantra has recently undertaken a large-scale survey of learning demand
|Industry||Number of businesses||Number employed||GDP £million|
|Trees and timber||6,200||38,030||4,342|
|Other related agriculture areas||88,200||1,079|
|Game and wildlife management||5,100||15,200||300|
Note: figures in italics are estimates based on available evidence 1 ONS figures from Blue Book 2002.