The labour market in Manchester – along with just about everything else in the city – is rapidly changing and growing.
Manchester’s iconic worker bee symbol and nicknames such as ‘Cottonopolis’ and ‘Warehouse City’ are a constant reminder of the city’s manufacturing past and its role at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. After a period of decline in the 70’s and 80’s, it seems Manchester is well and truly on the up again!
Roughly 55,000 new jobs in the city centre alone will be created by 2025, placing the city above Paris, Berlin and Tokyo in terms of employment growth. In short, there’s never been a better time to live here.
As well as an increase in the number of jobs, Manchester is also witnessing a seismic shift in terms of which industries dominate the labour market. The creative, cultural and digital sectors are just some of the areas on the up. A whopping 12,279 people in the city centre were employed as programmers and software development professionals from April 2016 to March 2017, which is the highest of any occupation!
Why is Manchester So Hot Right Now?
Mancunians are a fiercely proud bunch and have been championing their city for years. So why is the rest of the world suddenly catching on?
Now is a unique time for Manchester, with a lot of things coming together at once that are collectively boosting the city’s prospects.
It Costs Less to Be Here
As London prices become unmanageable, people are looking elsewhere to get more bang for their buck. The term ‘North-shoring’ has emerged, which describes the growing trend for companies to move out of London and relocate to the North to benefit from lower rent prices.
The same applies to people. The cost of living in Manchester is a massive 34% lower than in London. No surprise, then, that 4150 people relocated from London to Manchester between 2015 and 2016. In a classic chicken and egg situation, this growing pool of highly-skilled workers in turn attracts more companies.
The HS2 railway is due for completion in 2022 and will connect ten major regional UK cities. Travel between Manchester and London, which currently takes over two hours, will be cut to a nippy one hour eight minutes!
Manchester International Airport, already the biggest airport outside London, is also in the middle of constructing a £1 billion ‘super terminal’. This will allow the airport to process 45 million passengers a year – 20 million more than currently manageable – and cut off-peak security queues to just five minutes.
This huge boost in infrastructure is transforming Manchester into a truly global city, better connecting it to both national and international markets.
All the Best Talent Lives Here
Manchester’s three universities — The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford — have a combined graduate retention rate of a whopping 58%. This means roughly 200,000 fresh, highly-skilled workers are being added to the city every year. This brainy bunch attracts companies in technology, science, creative and digital sectors, who typically look for applicants with degree-level qualifications.
Manchester is arguably the epicentre of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, a collection of cities and towns in the north of England and Wales that have received significant funding from the government to boost economic growth. For investors, this is shifting the focus away from the South East towards a combined area that, if it were a country, would be the 10th biggest economy in Europe.
What Does all This Mean for the Future of Jobs in Manchester?
A plethora of trendy digital marketing agencies have set up roots in the city centre, and major companies such as Google and the BBC have established offices here. Manchester is also one of the regional cities being considered for Channel 4’s relocation out of the capital in late 2018. True to Manchester’s reputation as a history of innovation, the city is fast turning into a tech hub to rival the likes of Berlin, which has long reigned as the startup capital of Europe.
898 - average number of startups founded in Manchester each year
130% - increase in digital business births between 2011 and 2016
69, 837 - number of digital tech jobs in Manchester in 2017
28% - percentage of the 50 fastest growing digital tech companies in the North that are located in Manchester
Looking for a job in Manchester city centre? We’ve got a great range of apartments within easy walking distance of some of the city’s most exciting places to work.
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‘Future of Work & Skills in Manchester’, Economy Scrutiny Committee, 6th December 2017.