As the largest metropolis in northern England, Manchester is one of the UK's most important cultural and commercial centres. Divided into the Central, Gorton, and Withington constituencies, economic data for the area is compiled separately for each region. As such, unemployment levels for Manchester Central were 5.8% in 2012, while 5.6% of Gorton's workforce were unemployed, and only 3.7% were out of work in Withington. These relatively high unemployment figures reflect Manchester's continued struggle to make the transition from a cotton textile and manufacturing-based economy to a modern service-based economy.
Nonetheless, Manchester has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, and had a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £42 billion in 2011. Despite a dramatic decline in printing throughout the world, Manchester remains the second largest producer of newsprint in the UK. The finance, banking, and insurance sector supports a staff of 15,000 locals at sixty financial institutions, the largest of which is the Cooperative Group. The tourism industry supports another 40,000 jobs, and 19,000 positions currently exist in the media industry. The education sector is also an important source of employment. Salford University, the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Institute of Science and Technology together support 33,000 employees, and draw more than 80,000 students to the city, creating the largest concentration of students in the UK. Manchester Recruitment agencies have also reported a high number of offerings in the retail sector in recent months.