Employment growth in 2020 takes Manchester into top 10

Laura Harper
X The Business Desk

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Employment growth levels in Manchester are set to be among the highest in the UK by the end of 2020, according to a new report published today by Irwin Mitchell.

The law firm’s latest UK Powerhouse study reveals headcount will grow by 1.4% across the city in the year to the fourth quarter of 2020, taking the total figure to 490,100.

The rate of growth is, however, lower than the 1.5% figure recorded to 2019 third quarter.

Also in the North West there was positive news for Liverpool which secured a top five position with an expected 1.8% increase in employment levels by the fourth quarter of 2020.

According to the report, which has been produced by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr), Liverpool will continue to be boosted by tourism and the associated increased spending in hotels, bars and restaurants.

The report analysed growth in economic output (GVA) and predicted that there will be no Northern cities in the top 10 for Q4 2020.

Manchester was in 29th place, followed by Liverpool and then Stockport. Leeds was down in 40th place with 0.6% growth in the 12 months to Q4 2020.

Laura Harper, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester, said: “This report paints a mixed picture for Manchester.

“Although there were promising signs in terms of employment growth, when it comes to growth in output, growth levels fell from 1.3% in Q3 2019, to 0.8% in Q4 2020, which is also below average for the UK.

“There continues to be growth in the creative industries sector and it is vital that it gets the support it needs so that it retains its status as being second only to London.

“I’m confident that the city will continue to be at the heart of the Northern economy and our media and creative and innovation businesses will be key to not only the regional, but the national economy.”

She added: “The significant difference between employment growth between Manchester and Greater Manchester is also highlighted.

“According to the report, job creation will be much higher in Manchester in 2020 compared to Greater Manchester.

“However, my hope is that with over £300m of additional investment being committed to cultural projects across Manchester and Greater Manchester this year, including the reopening of the Octagon theatre in Oldham and Wigan Pier, and the arrival of The Factory, the North West’s landmark hub for culture and the Arts, the wider economy will benefit from this and the gap will start to close.”

Josie Dent, senior economist at Cebr, said: “Manchester boasts a dynamic economy. In 2018, alone, there were 21,500 start-ups in the Greater Manchester region.

“However, a third (34%) of these were in Manchester city centre. Therefore, despite investments in Greater Manchester, new businesses seem to cluster in the heart of the city.

“Overall, this report shows that the economy is growing at two speeds, with employment and GVA growth in the city centre outpacing other areas.”