Yorkshire’s economic winners and losers revealed

The Humber Bridge
The Humber Bridge
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The gulf in fortunes between Yorkshire’s towns and cities over the last decade is laid bare in a new report.

While the Centre for Cities’ Outlook report focuses on the North-South economic divide it also reveals the differences between different parts of this region.

While York, Leeds, Wakefield and Barnsley managed to maintain the same number of jobs over the last ten years, other towns and cities have seen falls.

The Humber has suffered in particular with Hull and Grimsby both in the bottom ten for jobs created out of 64 towns and cities studied in the report.

Together they saw a net fall of 15,000 in the number of jobs while Huddersfield, at 57th in the list, saw a loss of 10,700 jobs.

Plans for the Humber’s economy are focused on making the area a hub for the offshore wind industry and last year they took a significant move forward with energy giant Siemens confirming it will open two plants in the area.

Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership which brings together councils and business in the area to grow the local economy, said: “Both Hull and Grimsby have experienced above average public sector cuts and had difficulties keeping up before.

“The LEP therefore inherited chronic long term problems. The progress we are making is encouraging but we are delivering a long term strategy and as such it will take time to come through.

“2014 was a year of significant momentum across the Humber. For example in the renewables sector, we’re seeing the development of Green Port Hull, and Grimsby is taking off as the centre for operations and maintenance. The mood from businesses in many other sectors is also optimistic, and the LEP is putting significant investment into infrastructure, skills and business support to back their growth plans.”

There was better news in Leeds and York which saw the number of businesses created grow by 17 and 16 per cent respectively over the last decade - above the national average of 15 per cent.

And while the region has struggled to match the South over the last decade, there are more encouraging signs in the most recent figures.

Barnsley had the biggest increase in private job sector jobs in the country in 2013 with a rise of 9.4 per cent. Private sector jobs in Doncaster increased by almost five per cent and in Leeds by four per cent compared to London at 3.5 per cent.

York has the fourth lowest level of jobseekers allowance claimants in the country and is in the top ten for the number of people with high-level qualifications while Sheffield has one of the highest rates of patent registration in the country.

Ed Cox, director of the IPPR North thinktank, said: “This report shows that we cannot afford to leave behind smaller towns and cities in attempts to rebalance the economy. It reveals the troubling extent to which areas outside of big cities are falling behind their near neighbours.”

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