Economy of Birmingham

The city of Birmingham, in England, is an important manufacturing and engineering centre, employing over 100,000 people in the industry and contributing billions to the national economy. During 2005, the West Midlands region as a whole created UK exports worth £15.2 billion, around 7.1% of the national total. [ [ UK Trade Info: Regional Trade Statistics] ] Output is forecast to grow during the next five years. [cite web|url= |title=Business And Economy |publisher=Birmingham Economy |accessdate=2008-01-08]

Although Birmingham has seen strong economic growth overall in recent years, with per capita GDP rising from 2% above the UK average in 1995 to 7% above in 2003, [cite web|url=|title=NUTS3 Gross Value Added (GVA) (1995-2003) Tables|publisher=Office for National Statistics|format=xls
Data on sheet NUTS33, line 102
] the benefits have not been felt evenly throughout the city. Many of the higher skilled jobs generated have gone to commuters from the surrounding area, and the two parliamentary constituencies with the highest unemployment rates in the UK - Ladywood and Sparkbrook and Small Heath - are both in inner-city Birmingham. [cite web|url=|title=Local area labour markets: statistical indicators - Parliamentary Constituency tables (Unemployment Rate January 2005 to December 2005)|publisher=Office for National Statistics|format=xls] Growth has also placed significant strain on the city's transport infrastructure, with many major roads and the central New Street railway station operating considerably over capacity during peak periods.

Modern economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added (GVA) of Birmingham at current basic prices [ published] (pp.240-253) by "Office for National Statistics" with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

fnb|1 includes hunting and forestry

fnb|2 includes energy and construction

fnb|3 includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

fnb|4 Components may not sum to totals due to rounding

Today the city's products include: motor vehicles, vehicle components and accessories, weapons, electrical equipment, plastics, machine tools, chemicals, food, jewellery and glass. Birmingham is home to two major car factories, MG Rover in Longbridge (currently closed) and Jaguar in Castle Bromwich (and Land Rovers are manufactured in neighbouring Solihull).

Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter is the largest concentration of dedicated jewellers in Europe. One third of the jewellery manufactured in the UK is made within one mile of Birmingham city centre. Until 2003, coins for circulation were manufactured in the Jewellery Quarter at the Birmingham Mint, the oldest independent mint in the world, which continues to produce commemorative coins and medals.

From manufacturing to service and research

As with most of the British economy, manufacturing in Birmingham has declined in importance since the 1970s, and it now employs a minority of the workforce. In recent years Birmingham's economy has diversified into service industries, retailing and tourism, which are now the main employers in the city. There are problems when labour skills do not match available job vacancies. Jobs in the service and tourist sectors are estimated to rise by 50,000 over the next ten years.


With major facilities such as the International Convention Centre, the National Exhibition Centre and the Symphony Hall the Birmingham area accounts for 42% of the UK conference and exhibition trade. [cite web|url=|title= NEC Group - Conference City|publisher=Locate Birmingham] The city's sporting and cultural venues attract large numbers of visitors.

Research at Birmingham

Research at the University of Birmingham, both theoretical and practical has contributed to the success of the city and the West Midlands region and had worldwide impact for more than a century. Now the University ranks fifth in the country. Scientific research including research into the controversial nano technology at the University of Birmingham, is expanding in the city and will possibly play a part in the city's economic future. [cite web|url= |title= Research at Birmingham |publisher=University of Birmingham |accessdate=2008-01-08]

Banking, insurance and law

) opened in Union Street, in August 1836.

Renewable resources

Birmingham has a large incineration plant, the Tyseley Energy from Waste Plant which produces electricity for the National Grid through the process of burning waste. It was built in 1996 by Veolia. [cite web|url=|title=Energy Recovery|publisher=Veolia Environmental Services]

Famous brands

Famous brands from the "city of a thousand trades" include Bird's Custard, Typhoo Tea, the Birmingham Wire Gauge, Brylcreem, Chad Valley Toys, BSA, Bakelite, Cadburys chocolate, HP Sauce, Epsc and the MG Rover Group; although no Rover cars are set to be produced in the future, with Nanjing Automobile Group to focus on the MG cars.

ee also

*Economic history of Birmingham


External links

* [ Birmingham City Council site on economy of the city]

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