Yorkshire tops regions for employment growth in June

Yorkshire and the Humber experienced the quickest rise in employment in the UK in June, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional PMI report.

Firms in the region hired extra staff at the fastest rate in more than two years, as they created capacity to clear backlogs and complete new orders.

Yorkshire also had the second-fastest expansion in business activity in the UK last month, with output rising for the eleventh month running.

The Yorkshire & Humber business activity PMI registered 57.6, which was broadly in line with May’s reading of 57.7. A reading above 50 shows growth in output, whereas a reading below indicates decline.

Meanwhile, input costs continued to put pressure on firms. Anecdotal evidence attributed input price inflation to higher raw material costs. Cost burdens were partly passed on to clients through higher prices charged for goods and services.

Despite cost rises, business confidence in Yorkshire & Humber was high in June. Optimism from local businesses was the strongest of all 12 monitored UK regions.

The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI, or Purchasing Managers’ Index, is the leading economic health-check of the UK regions. It’s based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the amount of goods and services produced during June compared with a month earlier.

Leigh Taylor, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The Yorkshire economy has had another stellar month, as firms continue to take the changing political and economic conditions in their stride.

“Against the backdrop of June’s snap election results causing further uncertainty, it’s heartening to see that the region’s firms are the most confident nationally in their outlook.

“Input costs have risen in the region for 15 consecutive months and higher costs remain a challenge for firms, despite inflation showing signs of easing.

“Managing cashflow will be imperative for firms to meet day-to-day costs while taking advantage of opportunities to grow.”

Karan Sejpal, regional head, North West and Yorkshire at UBS Wealth Management, said: “A year on from the EU Referendum, entrepreneurial spirit in Yorkshire remains strong, and the increase in hiring suggests businesses are pressing on with growth plans.

"Yorkshire appears to be bucking the trend in comparison with recent national data, which has painted a more negative picture for business activity and output. Looking ahead, we expect the continued political uncertainty could weigh on confidence.”