Leeds is the UK’s fastest-growing city with the second largest labour force outside of London. Of a population of 717,000, an estimated 440,000 work in the local economy. The wider Leeds City Region, which includes neighbouring towns and cities as far as Barnsley and York, has 2.8 million residents and a working-age population of 1.45 million (Experian).
With over 1 million workers, Leeds offers access to one of the largest skilled labour markets in the country. Strong local traditions in shift work, a willingness to travel and a high proportion of working women and part-time workers mean that this workforce is highly flexible and compatible with the working requirements and practices of modern organisations. Over 100,000 people travel to work in Leeds from the surrounding city region every day.
The Leeds economy has seen excellent growth in recent years. Its value is estimated at £13.6 billion. Between 1984 and 2004, more jobs were created in Leeds than in any other UK city outside London (ABI), which is predicted to be a long-term trend.
Leeds is widely recognised as one of the UK’s most important financial, legal and business centres. The city is home to more than 180 law firms that employ more than 8,000 people, as well as a wide range of national and international banks, accounting firms, insurance companies, stockbroking firms, private equity specialists and financial call centres. The city region also has strong concentrations of media, retail and manufacturing companies.
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