Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. In 2011, he City of Leeds had an estimated population of 757,700 making it the third largest city in UK. The 2011 census also showed that the West Yorkshire Urban Area had a population of 1,777,934 & the Leeds City Region, had a population of 3,000,000.
Today Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and is considered the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area.
Leeds is served by five universities, and has one of the largest student populations in the country with over 250,000 students and has the country's fourth largest urban economy after London. Leeds is the largest legal centre in the UK and in 2011 its financial and insurance services industry was worth £2.1 billion, the 5th largest in the UK, with over 30 national and international banks located in the city. It is the leading UK city for telephone delivered banking and related financial services, with over 30 call centres employing around 20,000 people.
Public transport, rail and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds and there are a number of twinning arrangements with towns and cities in other countries. Its assigned role in the Leeds City Region partnership recognises the city's importance to regional economic development, and the second phase of High Speed 2 plans to connect Leeds to London via East Midlands Hub and Sheffield Meadowhall.
Leeds has a diverse economy with employment in the service sector now far exceeding that in the traditional manufacturing industries. In 2002, 401,000 employees were registered in the Leeds district. Of these 24.7% were in public administration, education and health, 23.9% were in banking, finance and insurance and 21.4% were in distribution, hotels and restaurants.
Leeds is the UK's third largest manufacturing centre and 50% of the UK's manufacturing base is within a two hour drive of Leeds. With around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city.
In January 2011, Leeds was named as one of five "cities to watch" in a report published by Centre for Cities. The report shows that the average resident in Leeds earns £471 per week, seventeenth nationally and 30.9% of Leeds residents had NVQ4+ high level qualifications, fifteenth nationally. Employment in Leeds was 68.8% in the period June 2012 to June 2013, which was lower than the national average, whilst unemployment was higher than the national average at 9.6% over the same time period. It also shows that Leeds will be the least affected major city by welfare cuts in 2014/2015, with welfare cuts of -£125 per capita predicted, compared to -£192 in Liverpool and -£175 in Glasgow. Leeds is overall less deprived than other large UK cities and average income is above regional averages.
However, between 2002 and 2012, the economy of Leeds grew at a slower rate than the UK as whole, 39% vs 44%, and in 2012 remained 2.6% off its pre-recession peak. Also, 108,000 people work in the public sector – 24% of the workforce. The largest employers are Leeds City Council, with 33,000 staff, and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with 14,000 staff. Key government departments and organisations in Leeds include the Department for Work and Pensions, with over 3,000 staff, the Department of Health, with over 800 staff, HMRC with over 1,200 staff and the British Library with 1,100 staff.
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