Plymouth is a coastal city in Devon County, southwest of London. Traversed by the rivers Plym and Tamar, this scenic city has a storied maritime history. Its population of more than a quarter million is also responsible for a thriving local economy, and unemployment levels here fall consistently below national averages. Like much of the nation, Plymouth's public sector is an important source of local employment, and the Plymouth City Council and University of Plymouth are amongst the area's leading employers. In fact, the latter has a staff of about 3000, and supports more than 30,000 students.
Unlike most of the UK, the manufacturing sector is still quite strong here, with shipbuilding and defence providing employment for more than 12,000 and generating about 10% of the local GDP. Overall, manufacturing and construction are responsible for 15% of local jobs, and recruitment agencies frequently list openings for skilled trade positions, which account for a relatively high 12% of local careers.
Buoyed by a bustling tourism industry, hotels and restaurants employ another 23%, and employees in the growing finance and IT sector account for about 23% of the workforce. In 2012, unemployment was at a low 3.4%.