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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in City of Bristol


Bristol’s economic landscape is marked by a diverse range of sectors, with a notable emphasis on professional, scientific, and technical activities. The city has experienced substantial business growth, evident in the number of employees and new companies emerging in recent years. This report delves into the key economic indicators, such as employment, business growth, sector dynamics, and company trends, to provide a comprehensive view of Bristol’s economic health.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Bristol boasts a workforce of 316,702 employees. The city has seen a significant rise in the number of employees, with 2,096 businesses reporting an increase in their workforce.
  • Employee Growth Percentage: The city witnessed a 13.41% growth in employment, indicating a robust job market and an expanding economy.
  • Sector Dynamics: The leading sectors include ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ (14.34%), ‘Wholesale and retail trade’ (10.07%), and ‘Information and communication’ (9.72%). These sectors are pivotal in driving the city’s economic momentum.
  • Top Sectors with Raisers: Notably, sectors like ‘Internet platform’, ‘Software-as-a-service (SaaS)’, and ‘Analytics, insight, tools’ are rapidly growing, reflecting the city’s evolving technological landscape.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Bristol has a total of 3,890 companies that have ceased operations. This figure, while significant, needs to be viewed in the context of the city’s dynamic business environment and the natural life cycle of businesses.
  • Number of Scaleups: The city is home to 212 scaleup companies, indicating a healthy environment for business expansion and development.
  • New Company Formation: Over the past two years, Bristol has seen the emergence of 8,911 new companies, contributing to the city’s economic vibrancy.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): There are 26,574 SMEs in Bristol, forming the backbone of the local economy.


Bristol’s economic profile is characterized by a robust and diverse business ecosystem, marked by significant growth in employment and the emergence of new companies, especially in technology-oriented sectors. The city’s economic health is further underlined by the presence of a substantial number of SMEs and scaleups, despite the challenges posed by company cessations.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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