Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town, well located for access to both sea and land. It has traditionally been a military stronghold, reflected by the still present garrison, home to the 16th Air Assault Brigade which includes the Parachute Regiment.
With a population of around 183,000, the majority of which are working age adults, Colchester is a busy, thriving town. Past industrial production of wool and cloth was initially replaced by manufacturers, including car and engine makers; however, presently around 85% of the workforce is employed in service industries, including many of those who work for recruitment agencies.
While the unemployment rate in Colchester has risen by 2.5% since 2008, it remains at 6.7%, which is below the national average. Although around 79% of staff are employed by private sector companies such as financial institutions and IT and electronics companies, a significant number of people have employment within the public sector. Public organisations include Colchester Borough Council, the University of Essex, and Colchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
The average gross pay for workers within Colchester is £499 per week or around £25948 p.a. and there are no significant differences in the rates of pay between males and females for comparable jobs.