Economic Performance

The overall productivity of the local economy can be measured by the Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked. The graph below shows this productivity trend over recent years relative to the UK (index=100). The use of a relative index helps to control for inflation. Wakefield’s economic productivity fell between 2004 and 2009 and then started to increase again. Leeds has the highest productivity in the sub-region, but this has been declining relative to the UK as a whole. Productivity in Calderdale and Kirklees has also been falling.

The proportion of Wakefield’s economic output contributed by service industries (in £millions) has increased over the past 18 years. At the same time the contribution of production industries and manufacturing has decreased as a proportion, mirroring the pattern seen across the UK economy as a whole. Currently, the largest contribution to the district's economy (25%) is from distribution industries (includes retail and motor trades), followed by the public sector (the Council, health, education, etc.) (see graph below). Manufacturing currently accounts for around 15% of the value of the local economy.

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Economic Survey (June 2017) shows that business confidence peaked at the end of 2013 and then fell (see graph below). The results in Quarter 2 2017 bounced back after historic lows the previous quarter. The turnover expectation figure of 48% means that 48% more companies surveyed expected turnover to increase than companies that expected turnover to decrease.