Jobs in Birmingham, United Kingdom
In the early 20th century, Birmingham’s manufacturing industry consisted of many small, highly skilled firms producing a huge range of products (the thousand trades). Beginning in the 1930s, the city became increasingly specialised in the manufacture of motor vehicles. Following the OPEC oil embargo in 1973 energy prices soared, costs of production increased; smaller, more fuel-efficient Japanese vehicles became competitive; the British automotive industry fell into decline; and the city’s economy followed suit. Since then Birmingham has experienced a major restructuring of its economy. Manufacturing is still important but rapid growth of the private services sector has transformed Birmingham into the UK’s second-largest city economy. Income is relatively well-distributed but there are still pockets of deprivation. Pakistanis constitute a large and growing ethnic group. Ethnicities with smaller, more stable populations include African, Caribbean, Indian, Bangladeshi and Chinese. They tend to be concentrated in eastern and central areas of the city, but theirs are not necessarily the poorest neighbourhoods.
City centre renewal and the excellent public transport system have induced many financial institutions and companies to relocate corporate headquarters to Birmingham. Over 40 per cent of the UK Convention and Exhibition trade currently chooses Birmingham because of its excellent facilities and the variety of other attractions available to convention-goers. Birmingham is home to four major retail centres, which bring in day-trippers from as far away as London. Of these, the Bull Ring Shopping Mall, which occupies the city’s old medieval market space, is perhaps the most famous. The city is also home to two nationally-acclaimed musical performance venues – the Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Birmingham Hippodrome. For everyday enjoyment Birmingham offers 132 bars and clubs, 65 venues for fun activities and games, 16 live theatres, 2 art museums, 12 art galleries, 18 parks and gardens, 7 nature and wildlife areas, some striking examples of modern architecture, and numerous historic sites, specialty museums and trendy walking neighbourhoods.
Varied Lifestyle Choices
Many singles and young couples choose to reside within walking distance of Birmingham’s vibrant city centre. Mosely attracts those with an interest in art and culture, while the bustling high street, schools, housing choices and strong community spirit in nearby Kings Heath appeal to families with young children. Over 400 shops in the Jewellery Quarter still produce a large share of the UK’s total output, but the hip bars, cafes and restaurants in this restored neighbourhood guarantee an exciting nightlife. At a little more distance, Harborne, a residential area on the southwest edge of the city, provides easy access to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the university, varied ethnicities, parks, good schools and lots of clubs and activity centres. In the same area, Bearwood offers a more tranquil choice with affordable housing, a variety of green spaces, and easy access to Harborne’s high street. Top-rated suburban choices include Bournville –a model village on the south side, historically associated with the Cadbury family and factory; Halesowen – a northern suburb with a large number of excellent schools at all levels; and the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield – a self-contained and prestigious northern suburb with an abundance of green space, a bustling town centre, great local schools, and a variety of detached housing options
Diversity (Percent of population born outside the UK)
- 11% in 2001 and 16% in 2011, compared to national averages of 9% in 2001 and 13% in 2011
Structure of the Economy
- Private sector jobs as share of total jobs in 2015: 73.27% compared to 62 cities’ average of 73.51%. Of which, Knowledge-intensive business services 12.04% (Rank 27 of 62), Other services 41.87% (Rank 29 of 62), Manufacturing 11.13% (Rank 19 of 62)
- Gini coefficient of inequality in 2013: 0.40 (Rank 31 of 58)
Economic Performance in 2015
- Business innovation (net new start-ups as percent of total number of businesses): 7.52% (Rank 9 of 63)
- Employment rate: 64.2% of working age population (Rank 61 of 63)
- Gross value added (GVA) per worker: £48,505 (Rank 32 of 62)
2017 Cost of Living Index for London compared to reference city (Prague): 185 compared to 226 in London and 100 in Prague
Climate (30-year averages): 131 rainy days and 805 mm of rainfall per year; average temperature range from 6.1 C to 13.5 C
Based on comparable data on diversity and the economy compiled by Centre for Cities for the 63 largest cities and towns in the UK, cost of living data compiled by www.expatistan.com and climate data from UK Met Office.
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