Midlands and the North expected to see strong jobs growth over the next decade

The big cities of the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse are set to see strong employment growth over the next decade, according to a new report by Manufacturing Advisory Service sponsor Irwin Mitchell.

The law firm’s report shows Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Leeds and Liverpool all appearing in the top 10 for year-on-year employment growth by Q4 2028.

However, in a blow to efforts to relocate wealth away from London and the South East, the report also shows that locations in the South of England are set to have the fastest-growing economies in the next 10 years.

The UK Powerhouse study, which has been produced in collaboration with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), provides an estimate of GVA* growth and job creation within 46 of the UK’s largest cities at least 12 months ahead of the Government’s official figures.

The study shows the economies in Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Reading are expected to grow the fastest by the end of 2028.

Top 10 fastest growing economies Q4 2028

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Source: Office for National Statistics, Cebr analysis

Top 10 fastest growing employers Q4 2028

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Source: Office for National Statistics, Cebr analysis

Commenting on Exeter’s potential, Victoria Brackett, CEO of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services division said: “Our latest report offers very positive news for Exeter. Over £500m was injected into the area between 2011 and 2016 and this has undoubtedly been a factor in improving the city’s prospects.

“Looking forward, the city should focus on the current low levels of progression into higher education, which is surprising given the presence of a world-renowned university in the city.”

Josie Dent, Economist at Cebr, said: “The booming economies of Milton Keynes, Oxford and Cambridge continue to dominate in terms of economic growth. However, for job creation rates it is Leeds and Exeter which are set to rank highest by 2028. In particular, significant regeneration plans in Leeds city centre will stimulate employment growth and improve connectivity, making commuting easier.”

Birmingham is expected to maintain its impressive employment growth for the foreseeable future, with its workforce expected to grow by 18.4% in the next ten years. In comparison, Coventry is predicted to see employment growth of 8.7% across the same period, while Wolverhampton will see an increase of only 1.7%.