Gatwick is home to London's second international airport. Located three miles north of Crawley, this West Sussex travel hub has the busiest single-use runway in the world with up to 54 plane movements every minute. 34.2 million passengers passed through Gatwick Airport last year.
The airport is one of the main employers in the region. There are 23,000 direct employees, and a further 2,200 involved in off-site jobs related to the airport. It is estimated that Gatwick contributes £2bn to the economy of London and the South East every year. Around fifty airlines use Gatwick including low cost carriers like EasyJet, charter airlines like Thomas Cook and full service flag-carrier British Airways.
Workers in the area surrounding Gatwick enjoy a relatively high average salary. Crawley residents earn, on average, £29,224 a year, and the town has enjoyed low unemployment rates since the Second World War. Despite this, education has always been low compared to West Sussex and the rest of the UK " in the 2001 census, the percentage of residents with the most advanced qualifications was the lowest in the county, and in 2011 Crawley's population had the fourth highest percentage of people nationally whose educational attainment was Level 1 (i.e. GCSE grades D-G).
While transport is a large source of jobs in the Gatwick area, the service industry accounts for 87.9% of Crawley's labour profile. It has one of the highest concentrations of banking and financial operations outside London with big names like Deloitte in the town, KPMG a short drive away and PricewaterhouseCoopers in the sprawling airport complex itself.