Oxford is a city in South East England with a population of more than 150,000. Internationally renowned for its influential university, education is at the core of Oxfords economy, and the university is amongst the top employers in the region. In keeping with the prestige of its academic reputation, Oxfords workforce can boast some of the highest education levels in the nation - more than 58% have attained NVQ4 or higher.
The public sector, which employs more than 42% of the workforce, is one of the proportionately largest in the nation. Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital NHS Trust are also major employment providers here. Feeding off university talent and the surplus of highly skilled local labour, IT, bioscience, R&D, and software businesses thrive in Oxford. Sharp Laboratories and Oxford BioMedical are two of the biggest local companies in the sector. Based predominantly in the Oxford Business Park - where companies like Vodafone, BT, and Harley Davidson have large corporate branches - the Finance and IT sector employs about one-fifth of the workforce. Tourism, generating in excess of £9.3 million annually, is another significant aspect of the economy, and staff in the sector number some 25,000.
Despite the local predominance of white-collar work, Oxford has a long history of automotive production, and manufacturing continues to staff about 8% of the workforce today. Oxford Recruitment agencies often list positions in the sector, which is mostly based in the Cowley suburb where BMW and Unipart Group have large factories. In 2012, weekly median income was £516.40 and unemployment was a mere 2.2%.