Businesses in Yorkshire hired staff at the highest rate in more than a year during November, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers’ (PMI) survey.
The increase comes after September’s figures revealed the first month of employment growth in Yorkshire since January, with October and November seeing higher job creation than the UK.
Meanwhile, business activity in the region rose at a weaker pace in November than the UK average (55.2), with the Yorkshire & Humber PMI down to a four-month low at 54.0. October’s reading of 57.9 was its highest in 16 months.
The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI is the leading economic health-check of UK regions. It is based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the value of goods and services produced during November compared with a month earlier.
Those companies reporting higher activity often mentioned new product launches and success in gaining new customers, however there was also evidence of market uncertainty weighing on growth.
The weakness of the pound contributed towards the largest rise in costs in more than five-and-a-half years, which Yorkshire businesses passed on in the form of higher prices charged for goods and services.
Leigh Taylor, regional director for SME banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “Yorkshire’s continued growth in employment since September suggests that firms are confident about their outlook, despite a slow-down in output and new order growth.
“However, companies’ profit margins were hit hard as the weakness of the pound led to the steepest rise in costs since April 2011. The rise in costs reported by Yorkshire businesses in November was also higher than in any other region bar Northern Ireland.”