Hull’s economic growth is ahead of rates seen across the UK, according to official figures released on Thursday.
In the past two years, Hull’s economic output – currently valued at £5.6 billion – has seen growth at levels beyond the national average, data released by the Office for National Statistics shows.
The number of jobs in the city increased in the last year by 5,200, 4,000 of which are full-time positions, while Hull’s rate of growth over the same period was 4.2%, compared with just 1.3% nationally.
Beyond this, workforce skills, measured by NVQ3 and above, have also improved by 4% annually and by 25% over the past six years, which is in stark contrast with a national report published this week which criticised the city’s economic performance.
The Centre for Cities “Talk of the Town – The economic links between towns and cities” report said “the most successful cities provide jobs for people in neighbouring towns, and influence how attractive these towns are to business investment”.
Using data that goes back to 2011, it refers to Hull’s “poor performance” on employment.
In 2011, Hull – like most northern cities – was facing the direct impacts of financial recession and austerity. Unemployment numbers reached 20,000, with more than 14,000 claiming out-of-work benefits.
Since that time, Hull’s fortunes have changed significantly. Hull’s City Plan, launched in 2013, set out a strategic vision, which, with more than £3bn of public and private sector investment, has led to unprecedented growth within the city and beyond.
Far from showing “poor performance”, the latest data confirms Hull’s continued strong growth and key position within the regional economy as a driver for employment and entrepreneurialism.
Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment, said: “Today’s release of employment numbers by the Office for National Statistics clearly shows how significant the economic growth in Hull has been since the launch of the City Plan, and specifically in the past year alone.
“In 2016 and 2017, more than 5,000 jobs were created, with the majority of these being full-time. This is fantastic news for Hull.
“The Centre for Cities report shows the links between cities and their wider economic area, with the key link of growth with skills, but completely fails recognise the seismic change that has happened in places like over the past five years Hull.”