No-one claims the glory for Merseyside's plummeting unemploymentNothing to do with me. Or him...

No-one claims the glory for Merseyside’s plummeting unemployment

Unemployment on Merseyside fell by another 5% in September, yet you’ll find no politicians claiming the credit.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver has a theory why. Civil servants today announced another healthy drop in Merseyside unemployment – down 4.6% in  September and a whole 40% lower than a year ago.  For an area once bedevilled by worklessness that’s a staggering fall. […]

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wakeNow that's what you call a powerhouse

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wake

As research suggests the Northern Powerhouse is anything but, what has the north got to do to close the gap with the thriving south east, asks Dougal Paver. This blog doesn’t do gloom – and it ill-behoves me to start the week with anything but visions of sunlit uplands, much less share caution.  So you will forgive me the premise […]

Only land scarcity and a rising market will improve the Liverpool skylineThrough the fog of commentary rise some great - and some average - buildings

Only land scarcity and a rising market will improve the Liverpool skyline

As tower cranes once again punctuate the Liverpool skyline like a gloriously misshapen comb some are worrying that the standard of new buildings isn’t what the city deserves.  But they forget that the biggest determinant of design quality is the market price for whatever is being constructed. “Buy land,” said the wise old Irish farmer, “they’re not making any more of […]

There's nothing like cow pieJust one slice of the American gun making pie would create thousands of jobs in the UK

Would looser gun control laws boost the UK’s economy?

UK gun control laws are among the strictest in the world but some suggest we’re missing a trick.  Two, in fact: the economic boost from gun manufacture and the reduction in crime from allowing ‘concealed carry’.  Dougal Paver examines the issue. Thirty two billion dollars a year is a big pie by any count.  Positively cow pie territory, in fact, which is an […]

TV production LiverpoolFalkner Street, two streets from Chez Paver, dressed up in WWI garb for that memorable Hovis advert

Lights, cameras, action! How architectural variety is driving one city’s TV industry

TV and movie production in Liverpool has become an industry in its own right, finds Dougal Paver. But whilst the headline numbers regarding total productions are impressive, the economic contribution seems small. I spent much of yesterday working away on a client report from my dining room table whilst outside horse-drawn hansom cabs trundled up and down and young ladies sold heather […]

The Old Blind School LiverpoolNow an employment resource centre...

Unemployment: One city’s unsung transformation

In the early eighties I had a newspaper round delivering what was still a broadsheet Liverpool Echo.  Week after week, it felt, there were announcements of one major plant closure after another.  Tate & Lyle, Metal Box, Triumph, Meccano, Ford, Dunlop, Mersey Docks – on and on they went, with unemployment spiralling to beyond 30% before population decline thinned it out.  […]

LuasDublin's stylish Luas trams. There aren't enough of them. Not nearly enough, in fact.

Traffic management is Dublin’s new ideological battleground

There used to be a saying in Irish politics that the first item on the agenda of any new group was the split. According to the Irish Independent Dublin’s latest ideological battleground is the politics of traffic management – and things aren’t going well, as Dougal Paver discovers. Anyone familiar with Dublin will know what a traffic-choked hell-hole it can […]

Undergraduates at studyA key ingredient for economic growth, right there

Education is a key driver for economic growth

File that headline under ‘no shit, Sherlock’ if you like, but it’s worth exploring – particularly in the context of Liverpool, Britain’s fifth largest metropolis (for my overseas readers, the league table goes like this: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool). It’s a given in advanced western economies that educational attainment within a population is a strong predictor of economic growth. […]

Want to preserve your city in aspic? It may end up like San FranciscoLiverpool's skyline has benefitted enormously from forward-thinking planning

Want to preserve your city in aspic? It may end up like San Francisco

My home town of Liverpool faces some interesting challenges as its economy continues its ten year growth spurt. With such a track record you might imagine that the issues relate to coping with the inflationary pressures of growth and, in part, they do. My own children’s primary school, in a tight location where the inner city suddenly butts up against […]