The State of Britain

Fulwood the wealthiest part of the region with part of Bradford the poorest, all of the region’s LEPs record below average productivity growth

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The ONS has published average household disposal income estimates for England and Wales in 2018. The incomes stated are after tax and housing costs are taken off. 

The analysis shows that 87% of local areas had an average household income of between £22,500 and £39,200; within this over a third were between £28,000 and £33,600.

Of the 50 areas with the highest total incomes, 41 were in London with the lowest incomes more widely spread geographically across England and Wales. The North East, East England, London, and the South East had no local areas in the bottom 50.

The wealthiest area in England and Wales was Mickleover in Derby, with incomes of £52,200 and the poorest was Highfield North in Leicester with £12,500. The two areas are 30 miles from each other and ranked 7200 places apart.

The wealthiest area of Y&H was the Fulwood area of Sheffield at £44,600. This ranked the area 37th out of the 7,201 areas recorded. The poorest area of the region was the university area of Bradford with £13,700. This area was ranked 7,197 out of the 7,201 areas of the UK recorded.

Like most regions of the UK, output per hour in Y&H is below the UK average. Productivity per hour in Y&H was 16.5% below the UK average which ranked the region eleventh nationally for 2018.

One reason for this is the high levels of hours worked and high productivity in London and South East which pulls up the UK average so much that all other regions fall below it.

The ONS has now released data for a longer period and at a subregional level. This gives further insight into Y&H’s performance.

Perhaps the most useful indicator is the 2018 results for the 44 enterprise regions in the UK which comprises the 38 English local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and six enterprise regions in Scotland, Wales and the border regions.

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP had the best productivity (in terms of hours and jobs) in 2018 at 35% above the UK average whereas the Black Country LEP at 24% below was the worst.

All of the region’s LEPs recorded productivity below the UK average. 

Leeds City region was 30th at 14% below. Humber LEP 32nd and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding 33rd at 15%. But the worst regional performers were Greater Lincolnshire and Sheffield City Region at 18% below the average which ranked them 36th and 37th.

In terms of productivity growth between 2010 and 2018 the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP was top with growth of 16%. Twelve economic regions recorded productivity levels lower in 2018 than 2010. The worst performer was the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP which saw productivity drop by 11%.

Y&H’s results for productivity growth were more mixed. With growth of 2.7%, Greater Lincolnshire was the regional star and was ranked 18th nationally, beating Sheffield City Region which was ranked 21st with 2.4% growth.

York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP grew by 1.8% and was ranked 23rd with Leeds City region posting 0.1% growth which placed it 31st.  The region’s other LEP recorded productivity levels lower in 2018 than 2010. Humber was -6.1% and was ranked 41st.

On subregions, with the exception of York (+0.2%) all of Y&H’s economic regions recorded productivity below the UK average. Bradford had the lowest productivity, 26% below the UK average.

The growth in hours worked between 2010 and 2018 in West Yorkshire was 13%, just beating South Yorkshire which recorded 12%. In UK terms this level of growth was in the top fifteen of the country’s 41 subregions. North Yorkshire grew by 11% and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire was ranked 22nd with 10%.

If the increase in economic output is also factored in, then the sub regional performances are not as good.

North Yorkshire was ranked 19th in the UK with growth of c3%, West Yorkshire was placed 33rd with 0.1%, South Yorkshire 35th with -0.2% and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire at 39th with -6%. 

More data from the ONS showed unemployment in the region was 13,000 higher at 123,000 between November and January; the uplift of 0.5% took the rate to 4.6%, the second highest in the UK. Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.4%, the North East the highest at 6.2%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 80% which compared with 73% in Y&H where 2.6m are employed; the UK rate was 76.5%.

Y&H’s average property price decreased by 0.9% to £165,383, which took the annual increase to 3.1%, the highest in the UK. In comparison, UK prices decreased by 1.1% to £231,185 during January, an annual growth rate of 1.3%