Growing alongside the river Cam, Cambridge has become inextricably defined by its world-renowned university. With a staff of more than 8000, the university provides jobs to about 10 per cent of the local workforce. But the institution's influence goes far beyond the jobs it creates directly. It is also responsible for sparking the area's booming high-tech sector, fuelling the tourism industry, and attracting a high percentage of skilled technical workers and intellectuals.
Silicon Fen is Cambridge's most influential business district and home to a dense cluster of software, electronic, and biotechnology companies. Major employment providers including Marshall Aerospace, CSR, ARM, and Sinclair are based here, and the area also hosts a large number of tech startups. Cambridge's workforce is primarily white collar, and 47% of employees hold professional occupations, while more than half have obtained NVQ4 or higher - nearly twice the national average.
Finance and high-tech jobs account for 23% of all employment opportunities in Cambridge, and about one-quarter of the workforce is employed in retail or tourism-related roles. But the public sector nonetheless dominates the local job market; it staffs 40% of the workforce. The Cambridge County Council and Addenbrooke Hospital are the two largest employers. At £618.90, median weekly incomes here are far higher than the national average, while the percentage of JSA claimants is a mere 1.8%. Local recruitment agencies see a particularly high demand for those with backgrounds in science and engineering.