LANDMARK developments in Leeds will help spark a five-year boom that will see the city’s economy worth a staggering £24bn by 2020.
Experts believe the city’s current economic standing of £21bn is set to soar by almost a billion pounds a year over the next half decade, thanks to new developments such as the First Direct Arena and Trinity Leeds, which have significantly boosted the economy and provided thousands of jobs.
Speaking about the figures, councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said: “There’s a real sense of excitement and confidence in the whole city.”
The latest figures from Oxford Economics also show employment is also on the up, with 467,000 people in jobs this year – surpassing the pre-recession peak.
And this trend is set to continue, with the economic surge seeing 22,000 jobs created in the next five years, taking the total to 484,000.
Two thirds of these new jobs are expected to be in legal and accountancy sectors, HR, security, cleaning services and the rapidly developing IT sector, as well as in construction, leisure, culture and retail.
Experts also predict the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance is set fall from 15,000 to 13,700.
Rachel Reeves, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and MP for Leeds West, has also welcomed the news.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, she said: “Leeds is on the up. There’s so much to be proud of – our brilliant award-winning businesses, our amazing young people and our strong communities who pull together.”
She added: “We need to seize this opportunity and ensure everyone in Leeds has the chance to fulfil their potential, to work, to earn and to contribute.”
Experts also revealed that Leeds is now one of the biggest money-making areas in Yorkshire, contributing to more than 20 per cent of the region’s economic output every single year.
Kerry Houston, lead economist at Oxford Economics, said: “Leeds is expected to remain as a key driver of growth within Yorkshire.
“The city economy has settled onto a path of steady growth, which is expected to average 2.7 per cent per year over the next five years.
“Such growth will be primarily led by the high valued added ICT and professional services sectors.”
It was not all good news for the city however, as Leeds was shown to have some of the highest levels of inequality in the country.