Economic Overview

Sheffield’s economy has significantly transformed over the last twenty years with substantial improvements made across a range of economic indicators. GVA has increased, employment and skills levels have improved, and key sector strengths are yielding economic benefits.

Facing a legacy of declining heavy industry, the city has successfully altered its economic trajectory. New employment opportunities and businesses have been created, the two Universities have significantly increased both their student numbers and capital investment, and the city’s image has been radically reshaped with a series of high profile improvements to the built environment.

Some 240,000 people work in Sheffield in approximately 20,000 businesses. 11% of employees now work in manufacturing businesses, close to the national average. The majority of people work in services, with the 85% of workers in this sector also being close to the national average, but the highest in the city region in which Sheffield plays an important role.

Sheffield’s recent transformation was built upon a period of above national average employment growth, with jobs in the city increasing by 22% between 1995 and 2008. This economic recovery was based on the strong performance of business services (16,000 new jobs) and there was also significant growth in retail, real estate and software consultancy services. This employment growth has also been associated with an increase in those employed in managerial, professional and technical skilled occupations alongside a larger number of people in sales occupations.

If you are benchmarking city data for a client, or making an investment case for your business, please contact us on +44 (0)114 223 2407 creativesheffield@sheffield.gov.uk as we may be able to assist.