York ‘Outperforming Rest Of UK’ In Terms Of Consumer Sector Employment

New Report Predicts City’s Strong Performance Is Set To Continue

York enjoyed the fastest consumer sector employment growth in the UK in the final months of last year, according to a new report which revealed the city was also outperforming many other Yorkshire locations in terms of consumer sector economic growth.

Produced by national law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the Consumer Powerhouse special report provides an estimate of GVA* growth and job creation within key cities across the UK with a specific focus on the retail, leisure, tourism and food and drink industries

Published this month, the report revealed that York’s consumer sector recorded an employment growth rate of 4.1% in Q4 2017, which far exceeded the national average of 1.0%. In addition, the city’s consumer sector experienced GVA growth of 2.0% across the same period, which was again above the average of 1.5%.

The strong performance of York’s consumer sector is expected to continue into this year, with the report forecasting that it will maintain its employment growth rate of 4.1% in Q4 2018 and also see an increase in GVA growth to 2.2% during the same period.

 Five fastest and slowest expanding cities by year-on-year consumer sector employment growth in Q4 2017

Source: Office for National Statistics, Cebr analysis

Across the rest of Yorkshire, Rotherham (2.0%), Wakefield (1.7%) and Sheffield (1.6%) also recorded above-average consumer sector GVA growth in Q4 2017.

However, every city in the region except York recorded consumer sector employment growth rates below the national average of 1.0% in Q4 2017, with Rotherham’s rate of -2.5% being the second-worst in the UK.

Emma Yates, Irwin Mitchell Senior Associate Solicitor and consumer sector specialist, said: “This latest report shines a light on how employment within the consumer sector is thriving in York, with the city’s growth rate being well beyond the national average.

“There could be many reasons behind this, but it should be noted that York has one of the largest number of 18-29 year olds living in the city, compared to other cities in the UK. This age group tends to be very engaged in the consumer sector, particularly in active leisure and eating out in bars and restaurants.

“Unfortunately, while the employment picture in the sector elsewhere in Yorkshire is not so positive, the above-average GVA growth seen in several cities is positive news.”

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