Between 1974 and 1997, the town of Oakham lay within Leicestershire. However, it is now situated in the smallest historic English county of Rutland, bordering Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire. It lies in the Vale of Catmose, and is just 17 miles east of the city of Leicester. The area benefits from direct train links to London, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leicester, and Peterborough.
The town is one of the least deprived districts in England (ranked 352/354), and is home to around 10,000 people, who benefit from a very low unemployment rate of 0.62%. 21% of the population are educated to NVQ Level 4/5.
The majority of staff work in the key employment industries of manufacturing (20%), wholesale/retail trade (16%), education (14%), real estate (10%), health/social work (8%), public administration/defence (7%), and construction (6%). 22% of the workforce are white-collar workers, with the remaining 78% performing blue-collar jobs. The average income for a full-time employee is £21,000.
According to recruitment agencies, significant employers in and around Oakham include Lands End, Castle Cement, Grainstore Brewery, the County Council, Stocken Prison, the MOD (St Georges Barracks and Kendrew Barracks), and two independent schools. Oakham's economy (and that of Rutland also) is largely based on small businesses.