New Report Suggests Welsh Capital Will See Creation Of 9,700 New Jobs
A new report predicts contrasting economic fortunes for Welsh cities in 2023 - with Cardiff tipped to be among the top performing cities for job creation, while Swansea is set to be among the worst.
The latest UK Powerhouse report from Irwin Mitchell, produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), predicts that Cardiff will rise to 8th place in the study’s league table for year-on-year employment growth by the end of Q4 2023, resulting in 9,700 new jobs.
By contrast, Swansea is expected to fall 33 places, from 7th for employment in Q4 2021, to 40th by Q4 2023 with just 0.8% year-on-year growth.
Both cities are set to return weak economic output and are projected to be among the 10 worst performing by the end of Q4 2023, with 1.5% and 1.4% GVA* for Cardiff and Swansea respectively, equating to just £300m growth for the Cardiff economy.
Employment prospects continue to be robust for Cardiff and while economic output lags behind for both cities, the report also reveals that Wales was the only UK region to see its share of Foreign Direct Investment** (FDI) projects increase between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
While this was only a modest 3% increase, it is in stark contrast to other regions, which all saw a 15.6% decline in such projects on average; significant when FDI is seen as one of the reasons for the continued economic success enjoyed by the South and East of England.
Bryan Bletso, partner and Head of International at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The employment prospects for Cardiff continue to defy its lower economic output but there is a question of how long one can continue to grow without the other.
“Cardiff has been recognised as a potential powerhouse and if the right support can be given to leverage more FDI for the city and Wales as a whole, then it should be possible to make inroads into improving GVA in the future.
“This will be key for future prosperity and if the government’s levelling up agenda is to deliver tangible achievements. With a strategy in place to take advantage of the strengths of Cardiff and Swansea and promote these to an international audience, it should be possible to expand the regions high growth sectors into a real dragon economy.
“The positive news in terms of FDI is real encouragement that this is possible and reports from the Great Western Cities Partnership and others make clear that local government is aware of what needs to be done to promote more investment opportunities and drive growth throughout Wales more widely.
“Cardiff is already a financial centre of excellence and the financial sector is a key area for FDI growth. The challenge is now to take that next step and harness the potential that Wales has to drive the levelling up agenda more widely. How fast these advances can happen will determine if job creation can come to be matched by economic output in the future.”
*GVA – Gross Value Added (the total value of goods and services produced)
** Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) refers to cross-border flows where an investor establishes a lasting interest in a subsidiary located in a country that is not the investor’s. Typically, 10.0% or more of the organisation’s voting power should be controlled by the foreign investor for this to represent a lasting interest.