Stoke-on-Trent is a city of 248,700 in Staffordshire, which enjoys the distinction of being the 8th largest manufacturing centre in the UK. Known for ceramics, the city is amongst the largest pottery producers in the world, and has been for more than one hundred years. Stoke-on-Trent has a large working class, and a substantially larger manufacturing base than most regions in the UK today. In 2012, the Office of Labour Statistics reports that 26% of the workforce was employed in factory jobs or elementary occupations, while another 13% worked in skilled trade jobs. In comparison, only 13% held professional occupations, and another 9% worked as staff in administrative or secretarial capacities.
But despite the large manufacturing and construction industries, the public sector is the largest economic sector. It employs 30% of the workforce. The top employers in Stoke-on-Trent are Michelin, the City of Stoke-on-Trent Council (with a staff of 14,000), the Primary Care Trust, and the University of Staffordshire. Recruitment agencies have seen an increasing demand for new recruits in the past year as the UK begins to rise from the recent recession. In 2012, unemployment was at 4.8%, while median per week income was £420.40.