The former county of Avon was based in the west of England, and incorporated parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, as well as the city of Bristol. The county was abolished in 1996, when the area was split between North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and the City of Bristol. However, Avon's name is still used for a variety of purposes and, as of 2009 its original area was occupied by over one million people.
The key employment sectors differ around the region. For example, Bristol has strong engineering and manufacturing industries, which include aircraft production at Filton Airport. Whilst the aerospace industry employs around 10% of the city's workforce, another 25% work in the financial services sector. Gloucestershire, on the other hand benefits from higher wages than the south-west average, and its inhabitants have a higher level of qualifications. The service industry is the largest employer in the county. In Bath, a significant amount of employment is provided by the tourism industry, and many staff are also employed in real estate (16%).
Recruitment agencies do not normally quote an average wage for the Avon area, due to it now being defunct. However, the median wage in the Somerset and Bristol areas is £23,000, whilst in Gloucestershire it is nearer £25,000.