Jobs in Glasgow, United Kingdom
Making of a Modern City
In its early years Glasgow was a fishing village, a Roman outpost, a Christian settlement, a Roman Catholic bishopric and a seat of reformist Calvinism and the Scottish Enlightenment. After 1650 the city became a hub for the triangular trans-Atlantic slave trade and by the end of the 18th century more than half of the British tobacco trade was concentrated on the River Clyde. Deepening of the port and the river channel made possible the 19th century development of the shipbuilding industry which, together with marine engineering, gave Glasgow its claim to fame. During this period the city also became one of the world’s major centres for production of chemicals, textiles and locomotives, and developed a diversified manufacturing sector, mainly for export. Shipping, banking, insurance, publishing and professional services expanded and art and architecture flourished. The Great Depression of the 1930s caused Glasgow’s economy to crash, and gave rise to radical socialism and the ‘Red Clydeside’ movement. The manufacturing sector never recovered, but tertiary sector industries have taken its place and since 2000, Glasgow has again become one of the fastest growing city economies in the UK.
Neighbourhoods and Quarters
City Centre was built in the 1960s on the north side of the River Clyde. It is home to the Glasgow City Council and most of the city’s main cultural venues. Glasgow’s thriving retail sector, the second largest in the UK, is based there, as is the city’s international financial services district. In recent years, many companies have established a base in the city centre to take advantage of the infrastructure and services available there. The adjacent Merchant City was a wealthy residential area until the late 19th century, when industrial pollution drove out the well-to-do. Since the 1980s, art galleries and artists have led a successful movement, in partnership with the City Council, to develop the area as a cultural quarter with luxury flats, converted warehouses, hip restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, theatres, music venues and a centre for working artists.
The East End was once a major industrial centre where wealthy entrepreneurs and their workers lived side-by-side. The prestigious homes and estates are largely gone or converted to other uses, but many sandstone tenements remain. In 1999, a number of innovative housing developments were constructed during Glasgow’s year as UK City of Architecture and Design. Celtic Park, home of the Celtic Football Club, and a new Scottish National Indoor Sports Arena are located there. In 2005 a healthy living centre providing sports facilities, health advice, stress management, leisure and vocational classes was established to serve community needs.
The West End is home to Glasgow University – the fourth oldest in the English-speaking world. This is a bohemian quarter with a large student population and many tourists. The Glasgow Exhibition and Conference Centre is located there, along with many hotels.
A large part of the economic life of Glasgow was once located in the North Side, but since the decline of the manufacturing sector, this has now become an area with high unemployment rates and concomitant social problems. In recent years, many run-down tenements have been refurbished or replaced with high-rise tower blocks. Maryhill, a more prosperous area bordering on the West End, has been relatively untouched by the quarter’s general decline.
In the South Side, Govan was once an internationally-renowned shipbuilding and engineering centre; today, only two shipyards and one precision engineering firm still operate there. The district is, however, home to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the country, and many public parks and several golf clubs are located there.
Glasgow Facts and Figures
Diversity (Percent of population born outside the UK)
- 5% in 2001 and 9% 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: 68.58% compared to 62 cities’ average of 73.51%. Of which, Knowledge-intensive business services 12.73% (Rank 24 of 62), Other services 41.76% (Rank 30 of 62), Manufacturing 5.23% (Rank 52 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): 4.35% (Rank 45 of 63)
- Employment rate: 69.2% of working age population (Rank 49 of 63)
- Gross value added (GVA) per worker: £47,891 (Rank 36 of 62)
2017 Cost of Living Index for London compared to reference city (Prague): 145 compared to 226 in London and 100 in Prague
Climate (30-year averages): 170 rainy days and 1124 mm of rainfall per year; average temperature range from 5.5 C to 12.2 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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