Tuesday, July 25, 2017

News: Yorkshire's manufacturing sector sees jobs growth

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Yorkshire is the UK region with the fastest growth in job numbers in the manufacturing sector but investment by firms has taken a knock following the uncertainty caused by Britain leaving the EU.

A new report from EEF, the manufacturers' organisation and BDO LLP, the accountancy and business advisory firm, shows that, at 12.3%, the region has experienced the fastest growth in manufacturing jobs of any UK region since 2010.

The annual report – Regional Manufacturing Outlook – draws in survey data and the latest ONS figures to provide a longer-term and in-depth picture of the health of UK manufacturing.

The statistics show that:

- In March 2017, there were 293,000 manufacturing jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber - 10.6% of the region's total workforce
- There are 11,930 manufacturing businesses, a figure that has remained flat despite the rise in employment numbers
- Manufacturing accounts for 15% of Yorkshire's economic output (services accounted for 75%)
- The region's productivity is 87.6% of the UK average, the third lowest of all the regions
- In 2016, Yorkshire only accounted for 4.8% of the country's manufactured outputs
- 54.9% of the region's goods exports go to the EU, the third highest in the UK

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Based on responses to the survey, the report states that manufacturers in Yorkshire and the Humber have seen their output and orders preform reasonably well over the past year, showing a resilient region.

The report also highlights a rebound in the metals sector - the region's second largest sector and a key one in South Yorkshire - that has provided further support to output growth in the last year.

Confidence has improved but Brexit is highlighted as a key issue for respondents reporting negatively for investment. It states: "The region's manufacturers appear to be choosing to recruit more staff to boost production rather than make significant capital investments, with the region posting the highest employment balance of any region for the second half of 2017."

Martyn Jenkins, economist at EEF, said: "The report shows just how important manufacturing is to all regional economies. Hundreds of thousands of people are employed in manufacturing in each region of the UK, and whether that is a large proportion of the workforce, as in the North West, or a small one, like in the South East & London, manufacturing remains a crucial aspect to every region's performance.

"There is clearly some work to be done, notably in closing the gap in productivity performances between regions, in which the higher than average productive manufacturing sector can help, both at a regional and national level."

The EEF is the representative voice of UK manufacturing. It opened new offices in Catcliffe, Rotherham in 2014.

EEF website

Images: Rotherham Pioneers


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