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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Manchester


Manchester’s economic landscape is robust and diverse, with a total of 609,916 employees contributing to various sectors. The city has witnessed a notable growth in employment, with 2,894 businesses reporting an increase in their workforce. Key sectors dominating the economy include wholesale and retail trade, professional, scientific and technical activities, and real estate. Despite no recent IPOs, the city has seen a 15.05% growth in employee numbers, indicating a healthy business environment. There are 285 scale-ups and a significant number of new companies, highlighting an environment conducive to business development.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 609,916. The high number of employees indicates a strong and diverse economic base. With 2,894 companies reporting employment growth, this reflects a dynamic job market.
  • Employee Growth Rate: 15.05%. This substantial growth rate suggests a thriving economy with expanding businesses.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: Wholesale/retail trade and repair (12,924), Professional/technical activities (8,592), Real Estate (7,129), indicating a diversified economic structure.
  • Sectors with Most Growth: Internet platforms, mobile apps, and SaaS, showing a trend towards digital and technology-driven businesses.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 8,748. While this figure indicates some business closures, it needs to be considered in the context of the large number of new and existing businesses.
  • Scale-ups: 285. This number of scale-ups signifies a robust environment for business growth.

Gender Representation in Leadership

  • Founders: 14.99% female, 83.69% male. This indicates a gender gap in entrepreneurial initiatives.
  • Directors: 21.99% female, 71.50% male. Similar to founders, there’s a notable gender disparity in company leadership.

Additional Insights

  • New Companies in 2 Years: 12,536. A healthy indicator of entrepreneurial activity and economic dynamism.
  • SMEs and Exporters: A large number of SMEs (41,454) and exporters (973) suggest a strong small business sector with international reach.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 1,721. This signifies Manchester’s attractiveness to international investors.
  • Patent Owners and Grantees: The presence of 2,770 patent owners and 45 grantees highlights a focus on innovation.


Manchester’s economy is characterised by a strong employment base, diverse sectors, and a significant growth in digital and tech industries. The city shows a positive environment for new businesses and scale-ups, though it faces challenges in gender representation in business leadership. The economic health is further supported by a strong SME sector and international business ties.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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