Employment up 4.9% in Yorkshire and 2014 growth best in the North

Posted on 16 Jul 2013

Employment in Yorkshire and Humberside has grown by 4.9% compared with 3% nationally, while economic growth in the region is expected to reach 1.9% in 2014, according to data from PwC.

Yorkshire and The Humber’s total employment has risen by 4.9% over the last three years, from Q1 2010 to Q1 2013, outperforming the UK average of 3%, according to PwC’s annual UK economic outlook.

The number of unemployed 16-24 year olds has fallen by nearly 2%, the research shows.

The report also projects that the region will see 1.9% growth in 2014 up from 0.9% in 2013. This is only slightly behind the UK’s predicted growth of 2% and the most growth of any other region in the North.

Nationally UK GDP growth is likely to pick up gradually to around 1% in 2013, rising to around 2% in 2014, the authors say. This is slightly more optimistic than both the OBR and consensus forecasts, reflecting recent generally positive data about economic growth.

Yorkshire and Humber (about £13bn) is the third largest manufacturing region in the UK, behind the top placed North West (£16.3bn) and the South East ex-London (about £15.9bn), according to Office of National Statistics figures.

PwC has not linked the employment spike and growth forecast to manufacturing and engineering, but South Yorkshire especially has one of the highest concentrations of manufacturing in the UK, with many Sheffield-based companies reporting good growth.

Andy Ward, managing partner PwC Sheffield, said. “And if our expected UK GDP growth is achieved it would make us the best performing of the large EU economies boosting the region’s confidence further.

“Our employment growth is particularly positive, though while workers aged between 50 and 65 have increased 9.2% in the region there has also been a 1.9% drop in employment for the 16-24 year old age bracket. This is consistent with the rest of the UK and may be in part be due to the disappointing level of private sector pensions as result of the financial crisis.

Average UK house prices in the region are also gradually starting to recover, but these are unlikely to return to their previous 2007 peak levels in real (inflation-adjusted) terms until after 2020.

London, Eastern and Southern regions have been more stable with growth rates higher than the UK average. In Yorkshire average real house prices grew strongly between 1997 and 2007, but since 2007 have on average experienced 4.6% growth since 1999 in real terms compared to the UK average of 5.2%.

David Sparke, director and property expert, PwC Yorkshire added: “Over the next few years, we expect the recent gradual recovery in UK and house prices to continue with Yorkshire also experiencing steady increases in real terms.”

The regional data was pulled from PwC’s UK Economic Outlook, which said while services will remain the main engine of growth, “we also expect a gradual recovery in manufacturing and construction over the next 18 months.”