Leeds jobs market

Leeds, which got its name from Loidis, was a forested area in the Kingdom of Elmet during the 5th century. The city rose to prominence as a manufacturing hub for wool, flax, and engineering products during the Industrial Revolution. Over the years, Leeds has transformed itself from a mill town to a thriving metropolis, bustling with trading and industrial activities. A great place to shop, Leeds offers a mishmash of modern shopping malls, high street shops and historic shopping arcades, including Trinity Leeds, Louis Vuitton, and Harvey Nichols. From street foods to nightlife and historical attractions – the city has something for everyone.
Leeds has been named the best city to live in the UK, according to MoneySuperMarket’s quality of living index. The city beats top UK cities like Birmingham and Manchester in terms of cost of living, quality of life, and income levels of the residents. Known for its vibrant culture, Leeds is also home to many famous music, theatre, and sporting venues, including The 02 Academy, First Direct Arena, Phoenix Dance Theatre, First Direct Arena, and the John Charles Centre for Sport. For job seekers, Leeds could be an ideal city for work-life balance.

Job Opportunity

The service sector is the biggest employment generator in Leeds, with jobs available in both public and privately held companies. However, Leeds has seen its private sector jobs grow faster than any other UK cities, and the city has the highest ratio of public to private sector jobs of all UK cities, according to Leeds City Council. With a total 480,000 people working in Leeds, the city is the second most popular job destination in the UK, after London. Over the next decade, employment in Leeds could growth by more than 10.4 percent; and the city could create more than 50,000 jobs by 2025, estimates Experian Business Strategies. The Leeds City Region accounts for around 5.6 percent of the total foreign direct investments attracted to the UK, according to the latest EY Attractiveness Survey. Over the past three years, FDI inflows to Leeds have been faster than the national average. More than 26,000 VAT-registered businesses operate from Leeds. The list includes leading banks, financial institutions, law firms, construction companies, and retail chains. The city is also home to three globally acclaimed universities, many leading healthcare and food services companies. It is no wonder then that the city offers employment opportunity to graduates and professionals from almost every field.

Key Industries

Leeds economy is set to grow by 25 percent over the next decade, mainly driven by finance and business services, according to Leeds City Council. Leeds has the most diverse economy among all UK cities. The finance and business services account for 38 percent of the city’s total economic output. Other important sectors include construction, tourism, retail, food services, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and creative and digital industries. Leeds is also a major hub of the UK’s internet industry, with more than 33 percent of the UK's online traffic passing through Leeds.

Financial and Professional Services

Around 250000 people are employed in the city’s financial and professional service sectors. Employment in these sectors could grow by 21 percent over the next decade and could account for more than 50 percent of the city’s GVA growth over that period, estimates Leeds City Council. Many acclaimed financial institutions, including First Direct, Yorkshire Bank and the Leeds Building Society, are headquartered in Leeds, while several other banks and financial bodies, including HSBC, The Bank of England, Lloyds Banking Group, and Barclays have offices in the city. As such, the city offers a promising career opportunity for finance graduates, clerks, cashiers, investment bankers, and bank managers.

Food Production

Leeds is home to many renowned food production companies, including Goldenfry Foods, Arla Foods UK, and Northern Foods. The city has been a leading centre for brewing. Top companies, such as Kirkstall Brewery and Leeds Brewery still have manufacturing units in the city. Accommodation and food services in Leeds could grow by more than 13 percent over the next decade, according to Leeds City Council.


Thanks to the presence of historic attractions, including the Henry Moore Institute, the Royal Armouries Museum, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and Leeds Art Gallery – the city attracts millions of tourists every year. The tourism sector of the city generates hundreds of jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers

If you are planning to move to Leeds in search of a rewarding career, the city most likely will not disappoint you.
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