A council report has revealed the local economy is showing strong signs of recovery.
The report which looked at the final quarter of 2013 found that the number of people seeking Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) has fallen to pre-recession levels with just 1 per cent of working age residents claiming JSA.
The number of 18-24 year old’s claiming job seekers allowance has fallen by 46 per cent year on year.
Councillor Alan Skidmore, Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Economic Development welcomed the findings of the report. He said: “The council’s recent economic overview report has revealed a generally positive picture of the district with increasing signs of economic growth.
“There is a continued decrease in benefit claims, especially amongst young people. The council’s free business advice service continues to grow in popularity. People who are thinking about starting a business, and those already trading, are both taking advantage of the help on offer.”
Last year saw a 22 per cent increase in the number of one to one business advisor appointments for people seeking advise seeking new businesses and there was a 450 per cent increase in the number of requirements for land enquiries.
Coun Skidmore added: “It is also heartening to learn of the recent upturn in commercial planning enquiries and planning applications This is a clear indication that more and more people are feeling that the economic picture is rosy enough for them to feel confident about establishing a business presence within the Harrogate district.
“In addition tourism is also increasing with visitors to Harrogate’s Tourist Information Centres (TIC) and the council’s museums growing year-on-year. With the Tour de France only a matter of months away, we will undoubtedly see a further boost to visitors to the region.”