Located in the UK's rural upper-inland region - in South Yorkshire on the River Dearne - Barnsley County is classified as more than 75% Green Belt. The area's economy was once dominated by the coal and glass blowing industries, but has recently seen a significant shift toward the creative and digital industries. Today, Barnsley County Council is the region's leading employer, and ASOS.com (an online fashion retailer based in Grimethorpe) is second, with a staff of more than 1500 locals. But business in Barnsley is primarily driven by small industry, and most residents work as employees in small companies.
Unfortunately, unemployment for 18-24 year olds (at 12%) is currently more than twice the national average. The 2012 census also revealed that unemployment rose by 9% from 2011. Recruitment agencies estimate that 67% of the workforce is employed full-time, while the remaining 33% work in part-time roles. Median weekly incomes, at £464.80, fall below the national average of £508. Yet more than one third of the workforce consists of managers, professionals, and technical workers. Only 22% of Barnsley's locals are employed in administrative or skilled trade jobs, while about 20% work in the leisure and retail industry.