West Yorkshire and the Sheffield City region have been ranked among the least productive parts of the UK.
Office for National Statistics figures show that Sheffield is 19.2 percent less productive than the UK average and West Yorkshire is 13.2 percent less productive.
Calculated by measuring Gross Value Added per hour worked, London is the most productive part of the UK, while the West of England, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Liverpool, the Tees Valley, Greater Manchester and the North East all score higher than the two Yorkshire regions.
The findings have been presented by business-led group, Be the Businesses, which aims to close the UK’s productivity gap and Tony Danker, the group’s CEO, said: “While West Yorkshire and Sheffield have many highly productive businesses, we know there more opportunities across the country for businesses of all sizes to make significant gains.”
The figures come despite the successes of HSBC, First Direct and Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds and Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, which represents businesses and civic leaders in the North.
Mr Murison said Sheffield and Leeds share skills gaps that hold them back and that together with Transport for the North’s plans, a “step change” in education and skills by settling the region’s devolution question is essential.
He added: “If the promise of the Northern Powerhouse is delivered, higher productivity in Yorkshire will close the over £7,000 a year gap in what northerners are paid and benefit the whole country’s economy.”