Most of Cumbria is rural, and parts are the most sparsely populated in England. Almost half of the people of the county live in the industrialised towns and cities, and the job market is diverse.
In the urban areas manufacturing jobs have been lost in the recession, but at a lower rate than the national average. Manufacturing is still a major source of employment, accounting for more than one in six jobs. Across the county unemployment is relatively low.
Specialised industry is strong, and the need for skilled workers means recruitment agencies frequently seek to fill several vacancies at once.
There are more than 10,000 staff at Europe's biggest nuclear site at Sellafield, close to Whitehaven. That makes up almost half of all jobs in Britain's nuclear industry. In Barrow, BAe Systems employs more than 5,000 people in shipbuilding of military submarines.
Cumbria is home to the Lake District National Park and to some of the Yorkshire Dales too. Tourism is a two billion pound industry, and although work tends to be seasonal more than one in four people find some employment.
Salaries in the rural areas are below the national average, but in the larger towns specialist industries push earnings above the norm for England.