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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Reading


Reading’s economic landscape presents a dynamic and diverse mix of industries. The city has a total of 184,671 employees, with notable growth in employment, as indicated by 1,216 businesses reporting an increase in their workforce. The top sectors contributing to this growth are primarily in the fields of information and communication, professional, scientific and technical activities, and trade. However, there’s a noticeable absence of initial public offerings (IPOs), suggesting potential areas for future economic development and investment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Reading has 184,671 employees. The significant number of employees across various sectors indicates a robust and diverse economic environment.
  • Employee Growth: The city experienced a 9.56% growth in employment. This positive trend is a strong indicator of economic health and business expansion.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Numbers: The leading sectors by company numbers are Information and Communication (1,953 companies), Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (1,890 companies), and Wholesale/Retail Trade (1,648 companies). These sectors, covering a broad range of industries, signify a diversified economic base.
  • Sectors with Most Growth: The sectors showing the most growth include Analytics, Insight, Tools, Other Business Services, and Financial Services. This growth highlights emerging areas of economic activity and potential sectors for future investment.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: With 1,586 companies ceasing operations, there’s a need to explore factors affecting business sustainability in Reading.
  • Scaleups: Reading has 81 scaleup companies, indicating a healthy environment for business growth and scalability.

Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: About 10.71% of company founders are female, 88.78% male, and 0.51% unknown. This suggests a gender imbalance in entrepreneurship that may need addressing.
  • Directors’ Gender: The percentage of female directors stands at 24.77%, compared to 69.36% male directors. Efforts to improve gender diversity in leadership positions could be beneficial.

Innovation and Investment

  • Patent Owners and Fundraisings: The presence of 992 patent owners and 32 companies with fund-raisings indicates a vibrant environment for innovation and investment.


Reading’s economy is diverse and growing, with significant employment in sectors like information, professional services, and trade. Despite challenges in gender diversity and business continuity, the presence of scaleups and patent owners indicates a strong foundation for future growth and innovation.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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