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Supporting Data

Economic Barometer

The impact at a glance… 
Indicator Latest Release Date Latest Value (2021) Previous month value Comparison against the previous month Compariso n against pre-Covid levels Comparison against 2020 Source
Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels July 2021 14,085 14,725 Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels ONS, monthly update
Employments furloughed June 2021 19,800 29,200 Employments furloughed HMRC, monthly update
Total Self-Employed Income Support Scheme Claims June 2021 22,500 19,200 Total Self-Employed Income Support Scheme Claims HMRC, June update
% of vacant shops (estimate for YNY) September 2021 ~9.1% ~9.2% % of vacant shops (estimate for YNY) % of vacant shops (estimate for YNY) % of vacant shops (estimate for YNY) Local Data Company, update unknown
No. of positive covid-19 test results August 2021 11,044 13,745 No. of positive covid-19 test results No. of positive covid-19 test results Public Health, daily update
No. of start-ups May 2021 200 255 No. of start-ups No. of start-ups BankSearch, monthly update

Shaded grey = where data is not currently available

*Weekend index looks at people who were in the city centre, in the daytime at weekends, compared to a pre-lockdown baseline of 100.


Table Key

Positive, significant change

Positive, minor change

No change

Negative, minor change

Negative, significant change

Key challenges

  • Skills shortages are dominating as the key challenge right now. This is apparent across a range of sectors, particularly within hospitality and manufacturing.
  • HGV drivers: this is having a knock-on impact on manufacturing businesses as the limitations in transport means that good are not being delivered. This is particularly difficult for food and drink products, and could even result in product price increases.
  • Social Care: looming deadline for mandatory covid jabs with many in this sector still unvaccinated. It’s been highlighted that social care staff should be added to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) for both senior and junior staff.
  • Agriculture: shortage of farm workers could lead to increasing costs and serious issues for product supply, particularly in the run-up to Christmas. There are limitations with engaging with domestic employment as the agriculture industry is perceived as low-wage and this will take time to change – quicker interventions are required.
  • House price boom continues to be a challenge within York and North Yorkshire, particularly as demand outweighs supply. According to figures from the Land Registry, property prices have risen by 29% in Richmondshire district in the last year. That is faster growth than anywhere else in Britain (except Shetland and Orkney).
Covid Graph

There was a massive spike in positive Covid-19 cases in July, likely a result of the return to “normality”, whilst a decline has begun in August. It’s unclear what has caused this reduction, possibly summer holidays resulting in less close contact and spreading between younger people; the warmer weather resulting in greater outdoor socialising; or it may even be that less people are getting tested. It’s also worth noting that numbers still remain substantially high and schools returning in September could exacerbate this further. Last year, schools returning led to a major increase in cases. 

Employee forecasts appear incredibly resilient compared to previous estimates. According to Oxford Economics, employment will recover this year. In fact, it was estimated that only a minor dip (-0.02%) was experienced within 2020. 

Sectoral differences are apparent within the forecasts. Demand has grown across sectors such as: Administrative and Support, Human Health and Social Work, Other Service Activities, and Public Administration and Defence, to name a few. Mostly, these are the sectors that have been able to easily adapt throughout the pandemic. But, even the sectors anticipated to grow face limitations, particularly around labour shortages. 

Employments Forecast

Social care is now a rising concern – the number of people coming forward for vacant jobs are down by 70% in recent weeks within North Yorkshire. There is competition for employees between care services, hospitality and retail; pressures for staff to be fully vaccinated by Government’s November 11th deadline; and reports show that Covid cases have surged among care home staff. The sector could reach a crisis point where there won’t be enough people to provide care to people at home and those living in nursing homes.  

Employment forecasts for hospitality and tourism reflect the vulnerability of these sectors during the pandemic. Accommodation & food services remained unchanged from previous forecasts, with pre-covid levels still not anticipated to return, even up to 2029. 

Interestingly, arts, entertainment & recreation has a slower recovery than previously forecasted. 

Staycations may have provided a boom for the sector, but there are a number of constraints that have limited this opportunity; i.e. limited staff impacting opening hours.

Data shows that the hospitality sector has around 36,000 vacancies nationally. This challenge continues to be reflected within York and North Yorkshire, with businesses continuing to struggle with recruitment and increasing competition for employees. 

Employment Forecasts
Manufacturing and Agriculture

Alongside hospitality, manufacturing has been one of the most disrupted sectors this year, both from covid-19 and the EU transition. The latter plays out in the employment forecasts with Oxford Economics anticipating that changes to trade policy will lead to decreases in employment growth, alongside improvements to productivity via automation (which is already underway in businesses such as Nestle).

Labour shortages are particularly prominent within manufacturing as they occur throughout the whole supply chain, with limited drivers even meaning that goods are unable to be delivered. One suggestion flagged is that temporary works visas should be permitted to HGV drivers from the EU. The Christmas period is fast approaching and typically the busiest time of the year for the haulage industry. Currently, York Jobcentre offers free HGV driver training to combat the shortage.  

Construction faces the same challenge, alongside pressure from increasing costs and a lack of available supplies. 

On a positive note, claimant count levels dropped somewhat in May, likely as more people were able to return to work. However, they still remain substantially higher (114%) compared to pre-covid levels in March 2020. We are also reaching a pinch-point at the start of July, where much of the support (including furlough), is starting to be reduced. Many businesses, especially those that remain closed, will be unable to afford this added financial cost and may need to make redundancies.  

Finally, GVA remains unchanged from April’s forecasts and will be updated in July.