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The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Cardiff


The economic landscape of Cardiff is characterised by a diverse range of sectors with a total of 167,393 employees. There has been a notable increase in the number of employees across various industries, with 585 raisers indicating a positive trend in employment growth. The city’s key sectors include wholesale and retail trade, professional services, information and communication, and construction. Emerging sectors such as mobile apps and internet platforms show significant growth potential. Despite no IPOs, the 11.66% employee growth, 147 scaleups, and a robust number of new companies over the past two years underline a dynamic business environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Cardiff has 167,393 employees with a growth rate of 11.66%, indicating a thriving job market. The increase is particularly notable in sectors such as mobile apps and internet platforms.
  • Employee Raisers: The presence of 585 employee raisers suggests an expanding workforce, reflecting positively on the city’s economic health and job creation capabilities.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors: The leading sectors are wholesale/retail trade (26.99%), professional services (13.16%), and information/communication (9.76%). These sectors form the backbone of Cardiff’s economy.
  • Emerging Sectors: Emerging sectors like mobile apps and internet platforms, although smaller in scale, are showing significant growth, indicative of a diversifying economic base.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: The number of company cessations is not specified, but the presence of 13,639 new SMEs and 337 exporters indicates a dynamic market with new entrants offsetting exits.

Other Key Indicators

  • Scaleups: The presence of 147 scaleups signifies a robust start-up ecosystem transitioning to more mature phases.
  • Gender Diversity in Leadership: There is a gender gap in business leadership, with 16.04% female founders and 22.21% female directors, highlighting a need for increased diversity.
  • Youthful Leadership: A notable percentage of companies have young directors (under 40 years), suggesting a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit among the younger population.


Cardiff’s economic landscape is dynamic, marked by a healthy growth in employment and an evolving sector profile. The rise in new SMEs, scaleups, and a shift towards emerging sectors like technology and healthcare products indicate a city adapting to modern economic trends. However, the gender disparity in leadership roles points to areas for improvement in diversity and inclusion. Overall, Cardiff’s economic health appears robust, with a promising outlook for future growth.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.