Barnsley has been named as having the best job recovery in the UK post-Covid, with the number of postings actually increasing from February last year.
There are 20 per cent more job vacancies than pre-pandemic and Doncaster is seventh on the list, with a 6 per cent increase. The research was carried out by Indeed and the Centre for Cities think tank.
Researchers said the manufacturing and warehousing areas of the economy had been strong for the town, while Barnsley’s also enjoyed more investment in recent years.
Councillor Tim Cheetham of Royston, a spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “It’s the single most important thing for us. If we can get the economy right and provide jobs for people and houses for people to live in, the entire borough improves. It’s just about saying ‘we’re open for business, this is a place that’s determined to say that we are going to be the best in terms offering these opportunities’.
“It’s not in the South East, it’s not the sort of place that economic growth just happens, you’ve got to work at it.”
Initiatives, such as Enterprising Barnsley or the £100 million Better Barnsley project, have helped the growth.
Industries important to the town’s economy have been allowed to continue by the government for much of the pandemic, which has also helped Doncaster achieve such a high ranking.
Elena Magrini, a Senior Analyst at Centre for Cities, explained the reasons behind the growth: “The range of postings is linked to the sectoral composition of employment in different places. Barnsley is more reliant on manufacturing and warehousing and these sectors have bounced back quite well. Whereas, places that are more reliant on hospitality and tourism, and managerial roles are lagging behind.
“Manufacturing and warehousing haven’t been subject to any strong shocks during the pandemic apart from the very beginning. The fact that we have been online more might have played a role in the job postings or warehousing, for example.”