The final section of the report focuses on the Economy of East Devon and looks at economic performance, business and enterprise, labour market and skills and qualifications. In 2018 7,295 VAT registered businesses were listed in the district this is the highest number of businesses of all the Devon districts including Exeter. East Devon has a high number of micro and small businesses as well as high levels of self employment. The main types of employment are in the services industry which accounts for 86% of the employment in East Devon with a large section of this being in the retail, hospitality and health sectors all of which are predominantly lower paid sectors. The business closure rate for 2017 stood at 9.28% which is one of the lowest closure rates nationally with the national average being 12.59%.
The labour market in East Devon is good with low levels of unemployment and good qualification levels. The proportion of those aged 16-64 who are economically active (in work or actively seeking and able to work) is 83.3% which is above the national average. The proportion of 15 year olds achieving 5 or more GCSE's at grades A*-G in East Devon in 2014 was 71.3% with the area ranking in the top 20% of districts nationally. The proportion of the working age resident population qualified to NVQ level 4 in East Devon is at 35.8%.