A new report has revealed that there has been substantial growth in the number of people employed in the manufacturing sector in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The report was published by manufacturers’ association Make UK in partnership with accountancy and business advisory firm BDO. Their research discovered that Yorkshire and Humber’s manufacturing sector accounted for 15.4% of the area’s business activity and output in 2022. That places the region significantly ahead of the national average which sits at a little under 10%.
This is obviously good news for the Yorkshire and Humber manufacturing sector, so let’s look closer at the report’s findings.
Growth of Exports and Employment
Manufacturing’s share of output in 2022 increased significantly from the sector’s share in 2021, rising by 14.6%. It has created a huge boost for the region’s manufacturing sector, with employment increasing from 278,000 in 2021 to 316,000 in 2022.
The Head of Manufacturing at BDO in Yorkshire, Steve Talbot, spoke about the jobs boost, saying: “The manufacturing jobs growth we have seen in the region across the last year is testament to the resilience of the sector as a whole. Manufacturing companies across Yorkshire and the Humber have had to overcome the multiple challenges thrown up by Brexit, shortages in skilled labour, pandemic-related supply chain delays and the huge energy price rises we have seen following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“While everyone is hoping for some respite, the headwinds show no sign of abating. With high inflation and interest rates continuing to rise, manufacturers will need to remain alert, responsive and resilient in the face of any future geopolitical or economic shocks.”
Growth Drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber
One of the biggest drivers of this manufacturing jobs growth is the food and drink sub-sector which makes up 16.2% of the entire manufacturing output in the region. That works out at about one fifth of the region’s entire output, with the numbers clearly boosted by the end of Covid-19-related restrictions on hospitality.
The next closest sub-sector was the manufacture of chemicals which took a 15.4% share of the total output. The manufacture of metal products including steel took the next biggest share of total output at just under 14%.
Yorkshire and the Humber’s EU Exports
The report from Make UK and BDO also revealed that the Yorkshire and Humber region had a significantly higher than average share of exports to the European Union. The UK’s national average for EU exports stands at 52%, with Yorkshire and the Humber’s share of EU exports tipping 56%.
That share of exports to the EU from Yorkshire and Humber totalled £11 billion, and makes the region the second most dependent region on the EU market in England.
To build on this recent success, Make UK’s Director for the North, Dawn Huntrod, proposed a national industrial strategy which ‘encompasses local growth strategies which fit with the priorities and strengths of the region including infrastructure, innovation, and skills in particular’.
Huntrod said: “Industry remains critical to the growth of the Yorkshire and Humber economy, providing high value, high skill jobs and aiding the process of levelling up.”
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