The city of Leeds is Yorkshires capital of commerce, and a major centre for retail in Great Britain. With some of the largest pedestrian and indoor shopping complexes in England, Leeds boasts the 5th most productive retail industry in the UK; and recruitment agencies report a consistent demand for new recruits in the sector. The local workforce here generates roughly £13.6 billion for the national economy each year, and with nearly half a million employees, Leeds offers the most jobs of any city outside London.
But while the retail industry here is a major economic force, the finance, banking, and insurance sector provides the largest percentage of employment opportunities. Major industry powerhouses including PricewaterhouseCoopers, First Direct, and Yorkshire Bank are leading employers in the city; and there is a total staff of more than 100,000 in the sector. As in many parts of the nation, Leeds public sector is also a leading source of jobs, and the Leeds City Council and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust are amongst the top local employers.
Leeds also enjoys the UK's third largest manufacturing industry, which provides the workforce with nearly 40,000 jobs; and there are 20,000 more employees in the tourism sector. Divided into five constituencies, unemployment figures across Leeds range from a high 7.3% in the Northeast to a low 2.3% in the Northwest.