Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, was founded in 1903 as part of a social reform project, where the aim was to build a city surrounded by farmed countryside " one of the first green belts " the produce of which was intended to feed the inhabitants.
It has a population of around 33,690 and up until June 2012, its employment rates were rather better than the national average. Since then, employment has dropped to around 70%, the same as the national figures, but the retail district is currently undergoing a regeneration project which should improve employment figures significantly.
Most staff in Letchworth are in white collar, professional work, such as doctors, solicitors, managers, and IT. Correspondingly, Letchworth also boasts a relatively high percentage of self-employed residents. Skilled trades are also a good source of work in the area, and there are several recruitment agencies based in the town.
The local government arrangements in the area were historically unusual, and as such, the vast majority of workers are employed within the private sector, although the single largest employer is still North Hertfordshire District Council. The biggest private sector employers at present are supermarkets, an engineering firm called Geo W King, and Unichem.
Salaries average out at around £32,000 or about £619 per week, which represents a reasonable standard of living in a relatively expensive area.