Falling unemployment and increased business investment in the area, as well as other factors such as good transport links, income levels and the housing market, put the West Midlands city at the top of the Good Growth for Cities index.
Over the past two years, Birmingham has continued to establish itself as a growing hub of commerce and investment. HSBC recently announced plans to relocate their headquarters to Birmingham, moving 1000 jobs there from the capital and joining the many other global-leading firms already established in the region. The arrival of HS2 also promises to increase commuter flows in and out of the city, with travel time between Birmingham and London cut to less than an hour. These infrastructural advancements and heightened interest are changing the wider perception of the city and its role in the UK economy.
Saqib Bhatti, Director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, advised on this recent surge: “From creative to tech, professional services to retail, vibrant start-ups are helping to further cement the region’s reputation as a hotbed for industry and innovation.”
Birmingham is also the youngest major city in Europe; 40% of the population are under 25, representing huge potential in terms of future workforce. The strong university presence and increasing student retention post-graduation guarantees young, skilled talent for businesses looking to hire; two of the city’s business schools are ranked in the Financial Times Global Top 100.
Within the professional and financial services sector, Birmingham is a major UK hub, employing upwards of 130,000 people sector wide. This equates to roughly 25% of the employed population. The city centre boasts the UK’s largest regional accountancy cluster and is home to industry giants such as KPMG.