There are almost 150,000 more people in work in Yorkshire and the Humber than in 2010, new figures show.
Some 5,700 have gained jobs through the Regional Growth Fund and Enterprise Zones, while the RGF has given £270m to support businesses.
Overall, unemployment is down by 38,000 compared to four years ago and 226,000 apprenticeships have been created.
Nationally, the figures also show the UK economy is 0.2 per cent above its pre-crisis peak in 2008, after the recession shrank the economy by 7.2 per cent.
Manufacturing and services are up 3.3 per cent on a year ago, while construction is 4.2 per cent up.
Gordon Millward, south and east Yorkshire regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “The FSB has long highlighted the importance of the small business sector in the fight to improve productivity, create jobs and assist economic recovery.
“A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research released earlier this year found that small businesses were responsible for creating four in five private sector jobs between 2010 and 2013. New data from the FSB suggests five times as many small firms are planning to increase headcounts in the summer months compared to the second quarter of 2014, creating the right environment for business growth and delivering a further boost to economic recovery. The FSB is pleased to see this job-creating potential already making a positive impact on GDP.
“In addition, investment intentions remain strong for FSB members. This quarter, one in four firms expects to increase capital investment over the next 12 months, well up from the same period in 2013. The FSB believes business investment helps to boost productivity, which in turn feeds through into higher wages and living standards.
“Improved confidence in the economy is helping businesses regain the ‘feel good factor’, as demonstrated by Sheffield company The Green Deal Initiative, which has grown from three staff to a workforce of over 200 since its formation in 2012.
“Rapid expansion meant the company’s IT system was no longer fit for purpose, but it had no hesitation in investing in a completely new IT system, enabling it to help over 2,500 homeowners throughout the UK save over £500,000 on their energy bills.
“The return of confidence to the economy stimulates enterprise and delivers opportunities for companies like The Green Deal Initiative to invest and grow.”