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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Leeds


Leeds, a significant urban center in the UK, showcases a dynamic economic landscape. With a workforce of 1,038,440 employees, the city is experiencing noticeable business growth and diversification. Key sectors like professional, scientific, technical activities, and wholesale/retail trade dominate the business environment. Notably, there’s a strong presence of Internet platforms and SaaS companies among the top sectors experiencing growth. The city’s economy is also marked by a considerable number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a substantial number of new companies established in the last two years.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 1,038,440. Leeds has a substantial workforce, indicating a robust employment market. The city has seen an increase of 3,730 companies raising employment numbers, signifying a positive trend in job creation.
  • Percentage Employee Growth: 11.48%. This significant growth rate reflects the city’s expanding economic activities and its ability to attract and retain talent.
  • Number of Scaleups: 366. These scaleup companies are crucial in driving economic growth, innovation, and job creation in Leeds.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: The leading sectors are diverse, ranging from professional and technical activities (8,688 companies) to construction (6,112 companies) and information and communication (4,971 companies). This diversity underlines the city’s economic resilience and adaptability.
  • Top Sectors by Growth: Sectors like Internet platforms and SaaS are emerging as significant contributors to Leeds’ economic growth, reflecting a shift towards digital and technology-based industries.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 6,789 companies have ceased operations, a figure that needs to be considered in the context of new company formations and overall business health in the city.
  • New Companies in 2 Years: 16,699. This robust number of new companies indicates a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and a favorable business climate in Leeds.

Inclusivity and Diversity in Business Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 15.27% female founders and 83.43% male founders, with a small percentage unknown. This data points to a gender gap in entrepreneurship that may need addressing for greater inclusivity.
  • Directors’ Gender: 24.44% female and 70.84% male directors, indicating a similar trend in leadership positions.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: A wide age range among company directors, with a higher concentration in the 40-60 age bracket, suggests a mix of experience and potentially emerging younger leadership.


Leeds’ economy is marked by a strong workforce, diverse and growing sectors, and a significant number of new businesses. While the city shows promising trends in employment and business growth, particularly in technology-oriented sectors, there’s room for improvement in gender diversity among founders and directors. The high number of company cessations also points to challenges in business sustainability that need attention.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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