As a key town on the natural trade route between the London and the southwest, Basingstoke has been a hive of industry since the Middle Ages. Initially gaining economic success from its cloth industry, it has since turned its attention to more modern industries, such as electronics.
Basingstoke is home to a number of international businesses, in particular telecommunications companies that are responsible for a large proportion of the town's employment, such as ST-Ericsson, Motorola and Huawei. GAME also has its head office in Basingstoke, but as recruitment agencies are well aware, there is more to Basingstoke's industry than electronics. A number of financial institutions have offices there, and it provides a more convenient location for staff members living too far west to commute to London.
Between October 2011 and September 2012, 77.4% of the working population in Basingstoke were in employment, a significant 5.9% greater than the rest of Great Britain. Recruitment agencies are frequently tasked with finding new members of staff for the huge numbers of businesses there, demonstrating that the town has come a long way since its first weekly market began in 1214.