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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Wakefield


Wakefield’s economy showcases a dynamic and diverse business landscape. The city has a total of 180,278 employees, with significant employment in wholesale and retail trade, professional services, and construction. The rise in the number of employees in some sectors indicates a robust and evolving economic environment. Notably, there has been a significant growth in employment, with a 9.93% increase. Wakefield’s economic activity is further characterised by a healthy mix of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), exporters, and companies with foreign parentage.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Wakefield has 180,278 employees, demonstrating a strong employment base. The 9.93% employee growth rate suggests a positive trend in job creation.
  • Employee Raisers: With 696 companies increasing their workforce, this indicates a buoyant job market.
  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies:
    • Wholesale/Retail Trade: 2,323 companies (14.36%)
    • Professional/Technical Activities: 2,243 companies (13.86%)
    • Construction: 2,116 companies (13.08%)
  • Sectors with Rising Company Numbers: Notable sectors include Mobile Apps and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), each with 2 emerging companies, signifying a growing digital economy.

Sector Dynamics

  • Manufacturing and Technology: The presence of companies in manufacturing (1,146 companies) and information/communication (900 companies) underscores a balanced mix of traditional and modern industries.
  • Scaleups: The city has 128 scaleups, indicating a fertile environment for business growth and development.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Wakefield witnessed 2,019 company closures, a vital statistic for understanding business sustainability in the region.
  • New Companies in 2 Years: The emergence of 4,219 new companies over two years highlights a dynamic and entrepreneurial business atmosphere.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Founders’ Gender: 18.64% of companies have female founders, while 80.51% have male founders. This gender distribution presents opportunities for increased female entrepreneurship.
  • Directors’ Gender: 24.76% female and 71.45% male directors, indicating a gender gap in leadership positions.


Wakefield’s economic landscape is characterised by a strong employment base, growth in key sectors, and a significant number of new businesses. The diversity in industries from traditional manufacturing to emerging digital sectors like SaaS and mobile apps reflects a versatile economy. However, there’s room for improvement in gender diversity among founders and directors. Overall, Wakefield presents a promising environment for business growth and development.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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