Jobs in Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Philosophy with a Scottish Brogue
Around half a million people inhabit Edinburgh, dubbed the Athens of the North because of the large number of 18th-century public buildings built in the Greek neo-classical style, and its reputation as a seat of learning. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, so the monarchy, the Scottish Parliament and other institutions of government are all based there. It is also a centre of education in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering, and is the largest financial centre in the UK after London.
As a result, knowledge-based services occupy a high share of Edinburgh’s economy. During the 16th century Edinburgh was a leader of the Scottish Reformation. During the 18th century it developed into an important banking centre, and thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment such as David Hume and Adam Smith laid the groundwork for modern capitalism. The city was not much affected by the Industrial Revolution however, and its traditional industries – printing, brewing and distilling – still dominate its small manufacturing sector.
In the Middle Ages, defensive walls encircled the town, so tall buildings were constructed to house the growing population, with upper floors reserved for the wealthier classes. In the 18th-century Georgian period, after the Parliaments of England and Scotland formed the Kingdom of Great Britain, the increasingly overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in the Old Town led the professional and business classes to create a more elegant New Town to the north. Contemporary Edinburgh still reflects this division, although in the Old Town Victorian buildings replaced most of the original structures in the 19th century, and the late 20th century witnessed a major slum clearance program and development of a new financial district in the West End.
Cultural, Historical and Natural Attractions
TripAdvisor lists over four hundred things to do in Edinburgh. Many reflect the influence of the monarchy on the city’s history. Some of the top-ranked include: (i) Edinburgh Festival and Fringe Festival (renowned international festivals of the performing arts, held every August); (ii) Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (an annual performance of military bands and display teams from all over the world during Edinburgh Festival); (iii) Tour of Edinburgh Castle; (iv) visit to Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat ( the highest spot in Edinburgh with nature walks that offer spectacular views of the city, unique volcanic geological formations, and a hill fort built around 2,000 years ago; (v) Royal Yacht Britannia (the Queen’s former floating palace, now a specialty museum); (vi) National Museum of Scotland (a history museum for the natural world, world cultures, science and technology, art, design and fashion, and Scottish history); (vii} Edinburgh Old Town and Royal Mile (historic walking tours); (viii) Royal Botanic Garden (second richest collection of plant species in the world) ; (ix) Camera Obscura and World of Illusions (science museum); and (x) Edinburgh Gin Distillery and Edinburgh Gin Visitor Centre (a small-batch producer, aiming to educate and excite visitors).
The city is compact, walking is safe except during Festivals, and the public transport system is excellent. The climate is chilly because of cold winds blowing off the North and lack of sunshine. But the city is beautiful; the people are friendly; rental housing is readily available though not cheap; the intellectual atmosphere is vibrant; and the nightlife is diverse and affordable.
Edinburgh Facts and Figures
Diversity (Percent of population born outside the UK)
- 9% 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: 69.38% compared to 62 cities’ average of 73.51%. Of which, Knowledge-intensive business services 21.04% (Rank 3 of 62), Other services 37.08% (Rank 54 of 62), Manufacturing 2.44% (Rank 61 of 62)
- Gini coefficient of inequality in 2013: NA
Economic Performance in 2015
- Business innovation (net new start-ups as percent of total number of businesses): 5.42% (Rank 27 of 63)
- Employment rate: 70.8% of working age population (Rank 42 of 63)
- Gross value added (GVA) per worker: £56,883 (Rank 12 of 62)
2017 Cost of Living Index for London compared to reference city (Prague): 161 compared to 226 in London 100 in Prague
Climate (30-year averages): 124 rainy days and 704 mm of rainfall per year; average temperature range from 5.9 C to 12.7 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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