Oxbridge cities to lead 2022 jobs boom

What other outcomes are predicted in the 'UK Powerhouse' report?

University, Cam River, UK, British Culture, Eastern England, Cambridge
The two UK cities that play host to the nation's two most prestigious universities will see Britain's fastest growth in employment during 2022, according to a new study.Oxford will lead the way, closely followed by Cambridge, because of their strong, innovative cultures and economies rich in services and research-based firms, says this year's 'UK Powerhouse' report.The report, produced by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) for law firm Irwin Mitchell, analysed 50 of the largest local economies by employment and gross value added (GVA) growth.

Which other UK cities rank in the top 10 for growth?

It predicted that, by the end of 2022, employment in Oxford will have grown by 3.2%, representing almost 5,000 new jobs. Cambridge, along with Chelmsford in Essex, are expected to see year-on-year employment growth of 2.5%, with job increases in Milton Keynes and Inner London almost as great.Large cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh also rank in the top 10 for employment growth. At the other end of the table are smaller towns in the North, including Rotherham, Wakefield, Preston and Stockport.In terms of GVA, Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes are forecast to see year-on-year growth of 3.3% by the end of 2022, representing a total increase of economic output of £1.8 billion.

North-south divide continues

The report said this increase emphasised a growing north-south divide, with the top three performers seeing the same GVA increase as Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, York and Liverpool combined.Hannah Clipston, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said, “The UK’s economy has undergone significant change over the last two years and this report highlights that the recovery is unlikely to be linear or even uniform.“Over the next 12 months, our report predicts that manufacturing output will grow by 3.5% whilst for hospitality it will grow by 35%. This has a huge impact on the variations that we are seeing in terms of growth in different locations and should be considered by the government as it looks to level up and tackle the north-south divide.”

Innovation is key

The report also examined the extent of innovation in the regions and found that the South West and the South East led the way, each with about 40% of companies engaged in innovative activity, compared to 34% in Northern Ireland.The most common reason for driving innovation was to improve the quality of good and services. Less than a quarter of businesses in several areas said they were innovating in response to environmental concerns and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint.“Businesses have been incredibly resilient over the last couple of years and have faced many disruptors including Covid, labour shortages, supply chain issues and high fuel costs," said Ms Clipston.“Our latest study recommends that, irrespective of the sector they’re in, organisations should be adopting technology more quickly and adapting to the UK’s new status after Brexit.“All of this will require a shift in approach and for innovation to be celebrated and nurtured more than it is currently. It’s vital that businesses are encouraged to follow this path and receive the right level of support in order to help them succeed.”

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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