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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Luton


Luton, a significant urban centre, demonstrates a diverse economic landscape. With 146,601 employees and a notable 11.61% employee growth, the city shows signs of robust economic health. Key sectors include wholesale/retail trade, construction, and administrative support, reflecting a balanced mix of service and industrial activities. However, gender diversity in founding and director roles remains a challenge, with low percentages of female founders and directors.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Luton employs 146,601 individuals across various sectors. The city has experienced a healthy growth in employment, with an 11.61% increase in employee numbers, indicating strong job market dynamics.
  • Sectors with Highest Employment Growth: The sectors that have shown significant growth include consumer estate agency services, other business and professional services, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and restaurants and cafes. This diversification suggests adaptability and resilience in the local economy.

Sector Analysis

  • Dominant Sectors: The dominant sectors in Luton are wholesale and retail trade (17.49%), construction (14.05%), and administrative support (11.25%). These sectors form the backbone of Luton’s economy, providing substantial employment opportunities.
  • Emerging Sectors: Emerging sectors like SaaS and consumer estate agency services highlight a trend towards digitalisation and a shift in consumer preferences.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Luton has seen a considerable number of company cessations, totaling 27,14. This figure points to challenges in business sustainability, possibly influenced by market dynamics or economic shifts.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Scaleups and New Companies: The city has 46 scaleups and 4,394 new companies established in the last two years. This indicates a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and a conducive environment for business growth.
  • Innovation Indicators: With 195 patent owners and 3 grantees, Luton shows moderate innovation activity. However, there’s room for growth in this area to further bolster the city’s economic dynamism.

Diversity and Leadership

  • Gender Diversity in Leadership: The percentage of female founders (4%) and directors (22.78%) is relatively low, suggesting a gender gap in leadership roles within the business community.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: The distribution skews towards more experienced directors, with the highest concentration in the 40-50 age bracket (28.66%).


Luton’s economy is characterised by strong employment growth, sectoral diversity, and a burgeoning entrepreneurial scene. However, challenges in gender diversity and business continuity need to be addressed. Efforts to foster innovation and support emerging sectors could further strengthen the city’s economic resilience.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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