Oxford set to lead UK’s economic recovery in 2022 says new report from Irwin Mitchell

Cycling in Oxford

A strong innovative culture and an economy rich in services and research-based firms will mean that Oxford will be home to the UK’s fastest employment growth by the end of 2022 – according to the latest business report by national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The UK Powerhouse study, which has been produced by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr), analyses 50 of the largest local economies by employment and GVA* growth.

In the latest report, Oxford is predicted to see employment levels grow the fastest over the next 12 months, increasing year-on-year by 3.2 per cent and adding almost 5,000 newly filled positions.

Irwin Mitchell’s report also examines to what extent disruption in the economy leads to innovation.

Here the study reveals that the South West and the South East have the largest share of businesses engaged in innovative activity. According to the study, 41 per cent of businesses in the South West are defined as innovative compared to 34 per cent in Northern Ireland.

The most popular driver for innovation is improving the quality of good and services. Interestingly, only a quarter of firms in the South East were innovating in response to environmental concerns and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint. The proportion was even lower in London and the South West where the figure was just 20 per cent

Hannah Clipston, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Businesses have been incredibly resilient over the last couple of years and have faced many disruptors including Covid, labour shortages, supply chain issues and high fuel costs.

“Our latest study recommends that irrespective of the sector they’re in, organisations should be adopting technology more quickly and adapting to the UK’s new status after Brexit.

“All of this will require a shift in approach and for innovation to be celebrated and nurtured more than it is currently. It’s vital that businesses are encouraged to follow this path and receive the right level of support in order to help them succeed.”