Region records highest ever employment rate

New data reveals that the region’s employment rate has reached 73.8 per cent in Q1 2019 – the highest on record.

5 September 2019

Today (Thursday 5th September) the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) unveiled figures that show that the region’s employment rate has reached 73.8 per cent in Q1 2019 – the highest on record. There are 6,100 (0.4 per cent) more people in work than the previous quarter.

Roger Marsh OBE Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said:

“These figures demonstrate the strength of the Leeds City Region, which contributes £69.6 billion GVA to the national economy. We are in a robust position to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it, and this shows that our support of over 10,000 local businesses and investing in the skills of our workforce is providing a sound infrastructure for growth.”  

Whilst goods exported remain higher than a year ago, Yorkshire & Humber businesses exported goods worth £4.46 billion in Q1 2019, a fall of 4.8 per cent from the record high at the end of 2018.

Additional findings show that, as with the national economy, many businesses prepared for Brexit by holding additional stock in Q1. This is contributing to a slowdown in domestic and export activity in the Q2, according to the Quarterly Economic Survey with the Chambers of Commerce covering Leeds City Region.

Andrew Wright, Chair of the LEP Business Innovation and Growth panel said:

“It’s great news that employment figures are so high.

"We want to maintain this momentum which is why I encourage business owners based in the region to get in touch with the LEP Growth Service to find out about the support available to make your business as resilient as possible.”

This comes at a time when many businesses will again be preparing for the UK’s prospective departure from the EU at the end of October, and are facing decisions on whether to implement similar plans for future Brexit scenarios. These decisions are made more complex by issues such as currency fluctuations, and the cost and availability of additional space businesses may require to enact their contingency plans.


Businesses can contact the LEP Growth Service on 0113 348 1818 or email