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

Economic Patterns and Business Growth in York: A Comprehensive Report


York’s economic landscape showcases a diverse range of sectors with a strong presence in professional, scientific, technical activities, and retail trade. Despite no recent IPOs, there is a notable 11.33% growth in employment, indicating a robust job market. The city also exhibits a balanced gender distribution among company directors and a significant number of young companies led by young directors, highlighting a dynamic and evolving business environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 84,269. The employment landscape in York has shown a healthy growth of 11.33%.
  • Employment Growth: The increase in total employees indicates a thriving job market. The presence of 119 companies that have increased their workforce size signifies a positive economic trend and job creation within the city.
  • Top Sectors: The leading sectors are varied, with professional, scientific, and technical activities leading (2,189 companies, 17.9%). This is followed by wholesale and retail trade (1,368 companies, 11.19%) and real estate activities (1,241 companies, 10.15%). Such diversity in top sectors suggests a balanced and resilient economic structure.
  • Sector Dynamics: Among the growing sectors, ‘Internet Platform’, ‘Mobile Apps’, and ‘Analytics, Insight, Tools’ are notable, each with 3 companies showing significant growth. This indicates a trend towards digitalisation and technological innovation in the city’s business landscape.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: With 1,198 companies ceasing operations, there is a noticeable churn in the business landscape. This figure underscores the competitive and dynamic nature of York’s economy.
  • New Companies: 2,543 new companies have been established in the last two years, reflecting a vibrant entrepreneurial environment.
  • Scaleups: 71 scaleups indicate that a considerable number of companies are experiencing rapid growth, contributing positively to the city’s economic dynamism.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): SMEs, totaling 9,151, form the backbone of York’s economy, reflecting the importance of small and medium-sized businesses.

Gender and Age Distribution in Leadership

  • Founders Gender: 20.51% female founders and 78.21% male founders, with a small percentage of unknown gender (1.28%). This data points to a gender gap in entrepreneurship that needs addressing.
  • Directors Gender: 28.99% female directors and 65.85% male directors. The relatively higher representation of women in directorial roles compared to founder roles is encouraging but still indicates room for improvement in gender equality.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: The age distribution shows a wide range, with a notable presence of directors in the 40-60 age bracket. The presence of 368 companies with young directors leading young companies is a promising sign of youth engagement in the business sector.


York’s economic and business activity is characterised by a diverse and growing job market, a dynamic business environment with a mix of established and emerging sectors, and an entrepreneurial spirit. While the city shows progressive trends in gender representation in leadership roles, there remains room for improvement. The robust presence of SMEs and young directors in the business landscape indicates a future-facing and adaptable economy.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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