St Albans Economic Situation
St Albans did not remain unaffected by the global economic crisis. Just like everywhere else in the country, there is a lot of uncertainty and pessimism both among business owners and workforce. But the report on the district’s economy in 2011 by the City and District Council reveals that St Albans is holding up much better than many other English cities. This is related to the presence of several major employers in the district but even more so with strong locally based businesses which are the driving force of both regional and national economy.
According to the City and District Council report, most of the district’s residents are employed in fiancial, business, research, development, retail and educational sectors, while the tourism industry has a major significance for St Albans economy as well. More than 60 percent of the population is employed in professional and managerial occupations such as SEO Hertfordshire, while more than one half of residents commute to work mainly in London which is about 22 miles (35 kilometres) from St Albans.
The proximity to London and the University of Hertfordshire as well as an excellent infrastructure made the district one of the prime business locations in the county of Hertfordshire. Several larger firms have their seats in St Albans including AECOM, Premier Foods, Aon Hewitt, Rothamsted Research, NFT Distribution, etc., however, more than 70% of businesses have less than 5 employees which clearly reveals the strength of the local economy.
Despite the fact that St Albans economy was hit by the economic crisis as well, the City and District Council report shows encouraging results. St Albans has the 3rd highest rate of new businesses in the county which means that the entrepreneur spirit and business initiative are on a relatively high level. Although not all newly created businesses will achieve success, the fact alone that new businesses are starting up in these uncertain times is a good news as it shows that the people are taking action which is crucial to get through the economic crisis.
Another major advantage of St Albans over other cities is also the fact that it has a highly skilled workforce, while over 65 percent of its residents have professional, managerial and senior jobs. For a comparison, slightly more than 45 percent of people are employed in professional, managerial and senior occupations on a national and about 53 percent on a county level. The majority of highly skilled residents work outside St Albans and earn more than those who work in the district, however, highly skilled workforce makes the district a highly attractive business location. Nearly one half of adults in St Albans have a NVQ L4 Qualification or above.
How well St Albans is doing also reveals low unemployment rate in comparison to that on the county and national level. With 4.8 percent unemployment rate, the district has 1 percent lower unemployment rate than the county of Hertfordshire and as much as 3.3 percent lower than England in the same period (September 2011).