Leigh is a town in the Borough of Wigan in Greater Manchester. While the town was originally an agricultural area, its present-day economy is largely based on the retail sector.
The services sector is the main employer in Leigh, providing jobs for 77% of the towns workforce. The manufacturing, construction and tourism industries collectively provide the rest of the jobs in Leigh, with the H. J. Heinz food manufacturing facility in Wigan being one of the largest employers of manufacturing professionals. The Wigan Life Centre south building houses the majority of Wigan's public sector workers, being home to Wigan Council, NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan, and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.
Across the public and private sectors, 10% of Leigh's workers are in managerial positions while 29% are in professional, associate professional or technical positions. Just over 12% are involved in administrative and secretarial work while 11% are in skilled trade occupations such as plumbing and bricklaying.
Full-time staff in Leigh tend to earn an average weekly income of £421, which is less than that received by workers across the rest of the North West. Exactly half of Leigh's workforce possess qualifications at NVQ Level 3 or equivalent, with one-quarter possessing qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or above. Over 10% of staff have no qualifications whatsoever.
The unemployment rate in Leigh currently stands at 8.7%, which is slightly higher than the national average. However, recruitment agencies are bracing themselves to advertise the new employment opportunities brought about by the Wigan Pier Quarter regeneration.