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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 October 2021 12,695 13,255 Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit Claimant levels ONS, monthly update
% of vacant shops (estimate for YNY) October 2021 ~8.5% ~9.1% % 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 November 2021 14,661 16,201 No. of positive covid-19 test results No. of positive covid-19 test results Public Health, daily update
No. of start-ups October 2021 236 232 No. of start-ups No. of start-ups No. of start-ups BankSearch, monthly update
Payrolled employee counts from PAYE October 2021 360,979 359,449 Payrolled employee counts from PAYE Payrolled employee counts from PAYE Payrolled employee counts from PAYE HMRC

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

  • Labour shortages across a range of sectors (particularly agriculture, social care, logistics and transport, hospitality and manufacturing)
  • Increases in energy and supply chain costs
  • Exacerbated house costs (particularly in tourist hotspots)
Covid Graph

In October, the number of positive Covid-19 cases continued to increase, a similar trend across the whole patch. These are some of the highest rates that have been seen throughout the whole pandemic. The main driver for this position has been school aged children with knock on impacts into the age groups that are clearly the parents and families of those children.

Employee forecasts have been updated by Oxford Economics in October 2021. Between 2019 and 2020, there was only a very minor decrease in employment (-0.03%), likely a result of Government’s furlough scheme. The high levels of unemployment that were originally anticipated were incorrect. Instead there are challenges around labour shortages across a range of sectors – to name a few, social and health care (particularly due to vaccination requirements of staff), transport and logistics (which is impacting wider supply chains), agriculture, hospitality and manufacturing. The reduction in available migrant workers has been blamed for this challenge.

The figures within 2021 reflect this current climate, with the level of employees actually increasing by 0.5% from 2021. Based on the forecasts, the economy is relatively buoyant with employee levels continue to increase up until 2027 where a minor drop from the previous year is expected. These forecasts are similar to predictions made by Oxford Economics in July 2021.

Employments Forecast

Accommodation and food services is one of the key sectors that is currently experiencing a labour shortage. This current demand may explain why the latest employee forecasts suggest pre-covid levels will return by 2027. Although this recovery is slow, it’s an improvement from 3 months ago when this sector was not expected to regain pre-covid levels, even up until 2029. Now, Accommodation and food services are expected to be one of the highest growth sectors for employee levels over the next decade. Growth can also be seen in Human health and social work, Administrate and support, Professional, scientific and technical and Arts, entertainment and recreation.

However, this growth will be constrained if the labour shortages aren’t addressed. Some factors that are contributing to the shortage, particularly from a skills perspective include:

  1. For some rural locations on the patch, transport is a serious limitation in attracting new employees;
  2. There appears to be less appetite from students to work part-time whilst studying as much as they previously did; 
  3. Schools tend to channel students to university rather than the employment/apprenticeship route; 
  4. In the competition for lower skilled staff, wages can be used as an attraction, but even if there, larger companies (i.e. Next, Amazon and Wren kitchens) will outbid local companies. Also, there is a challenge with more appealing sectors stealing employees from other sectors (i.e. lots of people are leaving social care roles for retail as pay offers become more attractive), further widening some gaps. 
Employment Forecasts
Manufacturing and Agriculture

Exacerbated house prices could also mean young and low paid workers in tourist hotspots are unable to afford to live there (adding to the labour shortage crisis). House prices were rising at three times the national rate in some rural and coastal areas in July, such as Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales (21.4%). Lower priced housing in areas such as Scarborough Borough could also be under threat as second home ownership increases and there is a resurgence in the popularity of the coast.  

Alongside the ongoing labour challenges, energy prices and stock shortages are being flagged up. Previous investment planned for grow has now been shifted to ensuring sustainability of the business.

GVA is slightly slower to recover compared to employment, with pre-covid levels expected in 2022. It’s forecasted that there was a decline between 2019 and 2020 (-9.8%), with 2021 returning to growth (7.9% increase from the previous year).