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A mixed picture of York’s performance
YORK has more people working for London-based businesses than anywhere else in Britain outside the capital.
More than one in five workers in private-sector employment in York are accountable to businesses which have their headquarters in London.
The 22.4 per cent figure has been revealed in the latest Centre for Cities reports, which analyse the economic outlook of the UK’s 63 cities.
The report paints a mixed picture of the York area, which fares well for qualified workers and low numbers of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, but falls in the bottom ten cities in the country when it comes to private-sector jobs growth and superfast broadband penetration rate.
York is listed at 13th in the country for employment, with 103,300 jobs, putting 73.6 per cent of the city’s population in work. The private-sector to public-sector employment ratio now stands at 2.2 to one, as the report highlights a 4.9 per cent drop in the number of private-sector jobs available following a decline of 3,700 positions from 2011-12.
York has subsequently been placed at seventh in the list of cities with lowest private-sector employment growth.
However, the city has the fifth lowest Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant count, dropping to 1.6 per cent in 2013 from 2.2 per cent the previous year.
Proving itself as an educated city, York has the seventh highest number of people of working age with qualifications at NVQ level 4 or above, with 41.3 per cent of the population having earned high-level qualifications.
The figures compares to a national average of 34.2 per cent.
York also has the seventh lowest percentage of its working-age population having no formal qualifications, with the figure standing at 6.5 per cent, just higher than two-thirds of the 9.9 per cent national figure.
The Centre for Cities report said: “Skill levels are a key component of the success of a city economy. “Those cities that have a high proportion of graduates tend to have stronger economies than those that have a large number of people with no formal qualifications.”
York is placed fourth in the country for wellbeing, with a life-satisfaction score of 7.64 for 2012/13, compared to Ipswich, which came first with 7.74. The city was also sixth in the list of cities with the lowest levels of inequality.
However, York fell well below the national average for the number of postcodes achieving superfast broadband speeds in 2013, with only 58.4 per cent in the city compared to 72.6 per cent nationally, putting York in the bottom ten for connectivity last year.
In an overview of York, the Centre for Cities report showed average weekly wages in the city are £480, dropping 3.7 per cent, the equivalent of £17 less than in 2012.
The industrial structure of the city sees 31.2 per cent of the workforce employed in public-service jobs in 2012, with 17.1 per cent in knowledge-intensive service jobs and 43.2 per cent in other services.
Only four per cent of York’s workforce is employed in manufacturing jobs, the sixth lowest percentage in the country.
Coun James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, said: “These figures are hugely encouraging for York and have shown a year-on-year on improvement in the city’s economy, illustrating that the council’s work with partners and city centre businesses is paying off.
“Last year’s inward investments and relocations, by companies such as Hiscox and John Lewis, will see this improve further over the coming year.
“However, there are still areas for us to work on, including the cost of living in York for already hard-pressed families as well as the issue of in-work poverty.
“The council is working with partners to tackle contributing issues such as growth in wages, which needs to improve further across the city, championing the Living Wage for everyone working in York.
“We are also prioritising York’s digital connectivity as vital for the city’s growth and now that the York Digital board is in place to drive this agenda, we’re looking to see significant progress as early as this summer.”
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