Skip to content

Business & Economy

Sunderland employment rate set to increase post-pandemic

Sunderland is set to see employment rise post-pandemic, according to a new study released by Big Four accounting giant KPMG.

The report highlights how Covid-19 will permanently change the UK business landscape, with Sunderland listed as one of the cities expected to benefit, with a potential 1.2% rise in employment.

The increase is expected due to businesses adapting to new working environments and shifting to larger business hubs in desirable areas as a result of increased home working.

Having attracted Just Eat and additional investment from Envision AESC to the city in recent months – each of which will create hundreds of jobs – Sunderland is already providing significant employment opportunities to residents and serving as an engine of economic growth in the North East.

The city’s success was underlined by Nissan and Envision AESC’s plans – unveiled in the summer – to create thousands of jobs with the development of a state-of-the-art battery Gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), and the production of a new model electric vehicle, leading the electric revolution and transforming undeveloped land into an advanced manufacturing powerhouse.

Plans were also approved for Hillthorn Business Park in Washington earlier this month, a two-phased plan to deliver 620,000 sq ft of industrial and advanced manufacturing space, which is set to create 1,600 new jobs once fully developed and complement IAMP, supporting the needs of industrial, advanced manufacturing, storage and distribution businesses.

The city centre is also undergoing major transformation, with Riverside Sunderland creating the UK’s first carbon-neutral urban quarter, which will include office space for up to 10,000 workers. The Beam, which was the first building to be developed at Riverside Sunderland, welcomed global online grocery firm Ocado in 2019, which has already brought 300 jobs to the city centre.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland is undergoing major transformation and it’s no surprise that we are set to see an increase in employment with our changing skyline and continued investment from global brands.

“It has been a difficult 18 months for businesses with Covid-19, but we have not allowed it to halt our progress as a city and we really believe that our resilience and determination is paying dividends, with  the delivery of the UK’s first electric vehicle hub, our Legal & General-backed Riverside Sunderland, Hillthorn Park developments and much more besides.  This will all help to drive the North East’s economic recovery post-pandemic and provide thousands of job opportunities for the people of Sunderland.

“And as well as delivering jobs, we have also made a commitment to deliver a Real Living Wage for the people of Sunderland, by working closely with businesses that call the city home to combat low paid employment, and we’re delighted to be delivering on both fronts, with the percentage of people on less than the real living wage in the city now reaching a record low.

“While there will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, Sunderland is a city undergoing a skyline-changing transformation not seen for generations, and I think I speak for the entire city when I say how excited we are to be driving this exciting journey which will hopefully deliver prosperous job opportunities for generations to come.”


To stay up to date with developments from Sunderland, visit or follow @InvestSundUK.