Sheffield region records strongest growth in employment in the UK

Global manufacturers such as Boeing and McLaren coming to Sheffield has led to the area recording the country’s strongest level of jobs growth in the decade since the financial crisis.

A report by the Resolution Foundation said South Yorkshire had the biggest regional increase in the empolyment rate since the 2008 financial crash.

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis

The number of people in work in the area, which includes Sheffield Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley, currently stands at 71.7 per cent – a rise of 6.5 per cent in the ten year period.

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Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “These results don’t surprise us.

“Our region’s relentless focus on improving critical infrastructure, such as the £60m of public and private investment that has unlocked growth at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, helping make it the fastest growing airport in the UK, as well as investment to attract global manufacturers such as Boeing and McLaren Automotive to the region is paying off.

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren and Ruth Nic Aoidh, Executive Director of Commercial and Legal at opening of the McLaren factory. Picture: Dave Poucher

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren and Ruth Nic Aoidh, Executive Director of Commercial and Legal at opening of the McLaren factory. Picture: Dave Poucher

“But, low pay levels and weak productivity still acts as a drag on our economic growth and, not until the Government make meaningful systemic and structural changes in how we drive economic growth and invest in our region, will we unlock our full potential.”

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Boeing moved onto the Advanced Manufacturing Park in October and committed to building a second factory on the site on the day of its official opening.

And The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited South Yorkshire to officially open McLaren Automotives new Composites Technology Centre nearby in November.

Sir Michael Arthur, President , Boeing Europe and Managing Director, Boeing UK and Ireland, pictured outside the new manufacturing facility with Jenette Ramos, Senior Vice President, Boeing Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations. Picture: Marie Caley

Sir Michael Arthur, President , Boeing Europe and Managing Director, Boeing UK and Ireland, pictured outside the new manufacturing facility with Jenette Ramos, Senior Vice President, Boeing Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations. Picture: Marie Caley

The Boeing site will employ 52, including 25 apprentices, and make 10,000 parts-a-month at full production later this year.

Jenette Ramos, Boeing senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain and operations, said: “We appreciate all the community support for Boeing’s new advanced manufacturing factory in the UK.

“This is a fabulous example of how we are engaging global talent to provide greater value to our customers.

“In Boeing Sheffield, we are building on longstanding relationships and the region’s manufacturing expertise to enhance our production system and continue to connect, protect, explore and inspire aerospace innovation.”

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Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While the jobs surge has not been as dominated by London or low-paid work as some claim, new challenges have developed – particularly for younger workers and with a big rise in insecure work.

“While more people are working, as a country we are still earning less each week for doing so than we were 10 years ago.”

Alok Sharma, the employment minister, said: “All this is very good news but we are not complacent and are taking further action to increase employment rates for under-represented groups by developing innovative support programmes.”