Brighton & Hove fares well in latest economic report

Think tank, Centre for Cities latest report has highlighted how Brighton & Hove is performing well in many areas compared with some of the UK’s largest towns and cities. Key attributes include having a skilled workforce, a high number of independent businesses and innovation, low unemployment rates and low emissions. 

The 2023 report published this week, says that Brighton ranks 2nd highest in the country for the amount of business start-ups, and for the number of businesses per capita, reflecting the entrepreneurial nature of the city. 

Notably, the city has the 9th lowest hidden unemployment rate in the country. This is a positive sign for our local economy, showing that we are maximising our capacity for productivity - and indicates that the majority of people who can work, do work. (The official unemployment rate measures the number of people who are actively seeking a job but cannot find one, whereas the hidden unemployment rate refers to people who are able to work, but do not, for varying reasons). 

Brighton & Hove is cited as being 7th best for having residents with high-level qualifications, contributing to the city’s low level of economic inactivity. This is also testament to the strong networks of support and outreach within the city. 

The city came in 6th place for having the highest level of innovation and new economy businesses, which encompass knowledge-intensive sectors and advanced manufacturing. These businesses are at the forefront of new technologies and innovations, and their performance is important for the UK’s overall productivity and prosperity, because they are at the frontier of the economy. 

The city ranked 3rd for emissions per capita, well below the national average.    

Supporting positive local outcomes 

The Business & Intellectual Property Centre located in Jubilee Library provides expert information from seed to growth, and supports the hidden unemployed into work by providing free services and resources to anyone wanting to start a business.  

Brighton & Hove is expected to end 2023 as the UK’s fourth fastest-growing economy 

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “It’s really encouraging to see that Brighton & Hove businesses continue to be resilient despite a hugely challenging time.

“The Centre for Cities findings tell us that are we one of the top cities for businesses being founded and that we have one of the highest number of businesses per capita. We are a productive city, with low economic inactivity and a high number of residents with top qualifications. Businesses continue to be innovative and at the cutting edge of technology which in turn enhances our productivity and prosperity.

“Despite all the things that make running a business especially tough currently such as high inflation, the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the sheer cost of housing and the cost-of-living crisis, these results bring confidence and hope. We remain hungry as a city for local economic growth to secure future jobs, opportunities and apprenticeships.” 

Gavin Stewart, Executive Director of the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership says: “Unemployment numbers in Brighton & Hove have thankfully been falling since the pandemic high.  Although we know that retail and hospitality sectors will struggle this year, particularly thanks to the effects of inflation and post Brexit issues in staff recruitment, the overall outlook is still looking positive for 2023. CEBR/Irwin Mitchell has forecast there will be 1.1% increase in the size of the Brighton & Hove economy by the end of 2023 and that it is expected to end the year as the 4th fastest-growing city.” 

Read the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) and Irwin Mitchell report 

Read the Centre for Cities 2023 report here