With a population of roughly 149,000 inhabitants, Oxford is central to the economy of Oxfordshire and its neighboring areas with its 3,400 businesses that provide about 106,000 jobs. Annually, about 9.3 million tourists visit this city that has seven of the ten biggest employers in the UK. The services industry accounts for 89% of employees with 19% in retail, hotel and catering. About a half of the city’s workers are residents outside the city thus there is a high level of in-commuting into the city. Keeping in tandem with the UK as a whole, the city witnessed a marked increase in unemployment ever since October 2008 in which about 1600 people claimed JSA but the number rose significantly in 2009 may to a high of 2,970. However, the number of JSA claimants fell to 2,810 as at November 2009 marking a proportion of JSA claimants that is lower than the UK average. Even so, the number of Jobs available remained relatively low in Nov 2009 when compared to the same time the previous year.
The Tourism industry in Oxford generates £740 million for local Oxford business being the sixth most visited city in the UK. The city had a market within a market as investors with private property held selling until after the election due to fears and uncertainties. The number of open market properties has been valued at £3 million, about a 30 per cent decline when compared to last year at the same time. The property markets particularly housing in Oxford with structural similarities to those in London or a charming rectory with open aspects on the age of a villa, are in high demand.
A recently published study named Oxford amongst the top five cities in the world for fast broadband. According to that report, published by the Content Acceleration Company Akamai, the university town topped an average speed of 14.1 megabits per second when compared to the National average of 3.7 megabits, beating other British cities in the top 100 list like Southampton, Bristol and Cambridge. Oxford’s economy thrives on a robust service and production industry with most of the service being on retail but public services as well. Its high end research institutions have been the driver behind the growth of its knowledge based products and manufacturing. The region is ripe for investments in the property markets, IT, Education, Manufacturing and other small business opportunities that make the thousands of businesses in its economic landscape.