An industrial centre in West Midlands with a population exceeding a quarter million, the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has one of the largest manufacturing industries in the UK. With 18% of local jobs in manufacturing and another 5% in construction, Walsall has had less difficulty making a gradual transition to a service-based economy than many other regions throughout the nation. Historically a major coal, iron, and leather producer, Walsall now specialises in aerospace and transport technology. Due largely to a growing energy sector and the expanding hotel and restaurant industry, which provides about 25% of the workforce with employment, business investors pumped more than half a billion dollars into the local economy in 2010.
In total, about 20% of Walsall's employees work in industrial positions, while another 11% are employed in skilled trades. Ten per cent of the workforce hold managerial positions, and 15% work in professional occupations. Data released by recruitment agencies in the area shows the Walsall Council, the Walsall Housing Trust, and the local NHS are amongst the region's top employers. Nonetheless, the relatively small public sector accounts for only 23% of local jobs. In 2012, unemployment was 6% and median weekly income was £418.80.