We respond to the latest ONS figures: Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Following yesterday’s report (Wednesday 16 August) from the Office of National Statistics that showed rising numbers of people in employment nationally and within the Yorkshire and Humber region, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, released the following statement:

“It is positive that 43,000 more people are employed today across Yorkshire and Humber compared to 12 months ago. This is evidence of the progress the region’s economy is making as well as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s continued investment to help sustain this momentum, building on our £270m investment into jobs, transport and skills over the past year.

“However, the slight fall in employment figures in the past quarter underlines the need for us, alongside the Government nationally, to continue to emphasise the importance of long-term careers, job sustainability and economic resilience over more short-term forms of employment.

“This is why we are committing to a programme of inclusive growth in the Leeds City Region where we create better, more secure jobs that give people a real pathway to an improved quality of life.

“And it is this focus that sets the Leeds City Region apart. We want to ensure everyone who lives here shares the fruits of our economic growth, and the progress we are making in getting young people into employment and developing new housing and transport schemes is proof that working regionally rather than at a national 'one-size-fits-all' level is positive for all.

“For this to continue in the future, the only way forward is now a meaningful devolution deal that provides sustainable and flexible funding for long-term, regionally-born policies that build prosperity and make the City Region a better place to live and work.”

Latest figures from the ONS show that 2,482,000 people of working age across Yorkshire and Humber were employed in April to June 2017, a year on year rise of 43,000 (1.8%).

In 2016/17, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Economic Services teams supported more than 2,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the Leeds City Region to grow, set to create 1,340 jobs. In addition, we also brought 21 inward investment projects into the City Region, creating almost 700 jobs.