With a population of 275,000 people (2011), Sunderland is among the top-15 largest cities in England and the second largest in the north east of England, only succeeded by Newcastle. The city boasts good railway and road links with other UK cities and is on the Green Line of the Tyne and Wear Metro, which makes the city easily accessible to commuters. The city's average GVA per worker is just above £40,000, and annual GVA growth averages 3.2%. Towards the end of 2013, there were 111,400 jobs in the city. Approximately 75% of the local population is economically active and gross weekly earnings are £624. Like other cities in the North East, Sunderland's cost of living is comparatively low.
Sunderland Job Opportunities
The service industry has been steadily growing over the past 20 years following the decline of the heavy manufacturing and shipping sectors. Over 30% of jobs in Sunderland are public administration jobs, healthcare jobs, and roles in education. Jobs in catering, hospitality, and retail have also increased with the recent redevelopment of the city's Sunniside district, and approximately 20% of all the jobs in the city are in these sectors. Other important employers are the financial, business services, and construction sectors.
In recent years Sunderland has benefited from several inward investment schemes, including the development of various business parks, the creation of the Nissan plant, and the Sunderland's Working Neighbourhoods Strategy.
Sunderland Employment Trends
Over the past decade, the number of jobs available in areas like business services, IT, and finance has doubled, and it is expected that this upward trend will continue to characterise the job market in Sunderland in the medium term. In 2005, Sunderland was listed as one of the world's Most Intelligent Cities in recognition of the quality and availability of IT and telecommunications, and the private sector initiative known as Sunderland Software City aims to significantly increase the job creation in this sector by 2020.