Leeds and Sheffield predicted to create thousands of jobs in 2020 but Yorkshire lags behind rest of UK

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YORKSHIRE’S cities are away from the pace for projected job creation during 2020, with the top 10 places predicted to be outside of the North of England.

The latest UK Powerhouse study from law firm Irwin Mitchell showed that Leeds and Sheffield are set to have the fastest employment growth compared to all other cities in Yorkshire by the end of the year, with a 1.2 per cent increase in employment expected across the two.

Leeds skyline

Leeds skyline

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This would see a total level of employment of 472,200 in Leeds and 307,500 in Sheffield.

The Irwin Mitchell report also shows decent job growth projections for Rotherham and Hull.

However, no Yorkshire city made the top 10, leaving the region behind the places like Stoke-on-Trent, Liverpool and Sunderland when it came to headcount predictions.

Wakefield is one of four locations in the UK where headcount is expected to fall.

Sheffield city centre

Sheffield city centre

According to the report, which has been produced by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr), Leeds continues to perform better than other locations in the region through its connections to other cities and its tech sector, which is of significant importance to the region with almost 1,500 digital companies and a combined workforce of around 10,000.

The report also analysed which locations would see the fastest growth in the size of their local economies (GVA). Here, there were no cities from the North of England in the top 10.

Doncaster was the highest place Northern location in the report, recording a 0.9 per cent annual increase in GVA by the end of 2020, the same as London.

The report says that the Doncaster Rail Port – a strategic rail freight hub, as well having a number of other warehousing and logistic centres for UK retailers including Amazon and IKEA, has boosted its growth.

Trinity Walk - Wakefield

Trinity Walk - Wakefield

It also adds that Doncaster’s Growing Together Prospectus has successfully increased investment into the city and supported local businesses.

However both Bradford and Hull were ranked in the bottom five for GVA growth.

Paddy Sturman, partner and Head of Irwin Mitchell’s business legal services division in Leeds, said: “Similar to many other cities in the UK, Leeds will see a slowdown of growth in the coming quarters.

“Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, Leeds continues to show resilience and this is reflected in having the highest job creation figure in the region.”

Nationally, the Cebr figures in the UK Powerhouse study made for concerning reading.

It showed that the UK economy had moved very little during 2019 in the face of tough winds of uncertainty.

Victoria Brackett, chief executive of business legal services, said: “Many people in the business world will be pleased to see the back of 2019 – it was an unsettling period both politically and economically.

“As we move into a New Year and the start of a decade it’s important that we accept the challenges ahead and embrace them with positivity and optimism.

“The 0.4 per cent growth in GDP that we saw in Q3 last year meant we avoided a technical recession.

“There’s also hope that following December’s General Election, we’ll have a period of stability in which businesses can start planning and investing for the future”

The report adds the boosting productivity levels, which have stalled since the Financial Crisis, was essential to the future prospects of the economy.