8,000 new jobs and hundreds of new businesses paint a positive picture of Peterborough’s economy
8,000 new jobs and hundreds of new businesses paint a positive picture of Peterborough’s economy

More than 8,000 net new jobs have been created in Peterborough during the last six years and our net business creation is 43% above the UK average. GVA* growth is up 8% on last year and we’ve retained our place as one of the most innovative cities in the UK based on patents registered.

All these statistics and much more are included in Opportunity Peterborough’s annual Economic Intelligence Report, published today. (WED 19th)

The report is a deep dive into the facts and figures behind the city’s ongoing growth, and highlights areas of success, and challenge, and reviews how Peterborough statistics compare with the East of England and the UK as a whole.

Steve Bowyer, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “As the organisation responsible for economic growth in Peterborough we are delighted with the positive picture painted by this report. It shows the high levels of business confidence in the city are justified, with new jobs and new and growing businesses investing in the city; meaning Peterborough remains a very attractive location to live, work and invest. Of course, we still have challenges and there is rarely a quick fix to these, but we are going in the right direction. Our focus will be to continue our innovative approaches to supporting businesses and deliver continued economic growth for Peterborough.”

The comprehensive report covers issues such as business demography, costs of doing business, employment, claimant count, skills and innovation, qualification levels, population projection, and houses prices.  

It shows there are more than 8,500 active companies in Peterborough, which combine to produce a GVA* of £5,366million a year, operating at a productivity level of £50,576 per worker. With an employment rate of 79%, a gross weekly pay of £497.10, a house-price-to-earnings ratio of 5.94, and with commercial property and land costs below the UK average, Peterborough is an attractive and affordable place to live and do business.

New businesses are flourishing and net business creation in the city has increased year-on-year and is 43% higher than the national average. Peterborough is ranked the 7th most innovative city in the UK based on the number of patents registered per 100,000 head of population.

Job creation in Peterborough is strong, with 8,000 net new roles during the last six years, an increase of 8% – in line with the Eastern region (8%) and slightly above national figures (7%). Our economic activity rate is above the national average and while our productivity per worker may be below the national average, we still rank 23rd out of the 64 largest cities in the UK and our longer term trend is positive and in line with UK figures (over five years, Peterborough 15% increase, East 13%, UK 16%)

Our GVA* has increased by 8% on last year (East 5.3%, UK 4.6%) and our GVA* per head of population is also markedly higher. GVA* is often used as a standard of living measure and appears to suggest that Peterborough has a higher average standard of living. However, some caution should be exercised as the city has a higher proportion of working age residents and lower gross weekly pay figures.

After several years of increases, the median weekly wage dipped in 2015 by 60p to £496.10 and there is a higher proportion of our workforce in “elementary occupations” compared to those in the “managers, directors and senior officials” category. Although Peterborough is taking positive steps to address its skills issues, qualifications data still shows we have more people with no qualifications than regionally and nationally and fewer with degrees or NVQ level 4.

Steve said: “When businesses identified qualification and skills levels as an issue we began to address this – Opportunity Peterborough’s Skills Service last year united 19,000 young people with 360 businesses to develop employability skills and we have been raising local aspiration through our ground-breaking careers show. It’s also great to see that our firms invest more in job-related training, outperforming both the UK and eastern region and there is a clear commitment in the city to our schools and the growing university offer. 

“Of course we still face challenges: it was disappointing that the increasing trend of our pay levels has halted, for example. Our comparatively low house prices and house-price-to-earnings ratio, however, means salaries stretch further and Peterborough is perceived as an affordable and attractive location for employees to live and companies to invest – continuing the city’s successful growth.”

*GVA measures the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the UK (ONS definition)