Until the dawn of jet-travel and foreign holidays Southend-on-Sea thrived as a seaside resort, within easy reach of London.
Today tourism still earns the town more than £300 million pounds a year, and accounts for more than15% of all jobs, but it is not the biggest source of employment.
More than a quarter of workers have jobs in the public sector. The recession has seen its importance grow, as private sector jobs in the town are lost. Unemployment here is above the national figure, and salaries are lower than the average.
Finance, insurance and business support services are not far behind the public sector, and they're the second biggest source of employment in the town.
The sector is dominated by call centres and back-office accounts for major companies, and positions are frequently advertised through recruitment agencies. Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland both have call centres here and Converso and Ventrica handle the same task outsourced by other organisations.
Manufacturing does exist, but it's one of the smallest providers of work, less than the number of people who commute to London.
Central London is just 40 miles to Southend's north-west and it draws away one in ten of the town's workforce each day.