Edinburgh is the most competitive large city in the UK according to the Centre for International Competitiveness. Edinburgh also has the highest Gross value added per employee of any city in the UK outside London, measuring £50,256 in 2007. A combination of these factors saw Edinburgh named the Best Small City of the future by fDi Magazine for 2010/11. Education and health, finance and business services, retailing and tourism are the largest employers. The economy of Edinburgh is largely based on the services sector – centred around banking, financial services, higher education, and tourism. As of March 2010 unemployment in Edinburgh is comparatively low at 3.6%, and remains consistently below the Scottish average of 4.5%. Banking has been a part of the economic life of Edinburgh for over 300 years, with the establishment of the Bank of Scotland – now part of the Lloyds Banking Group – by an act of the original Parliament of Scotland in 1695. Today, together with the financial services industry, with particular strengths in insurance and investment underpinned by the presence of Edinburgh based firms such as Scottish Widows and Standard Life, Edinburgh is the UK's second financial centre after London and Europe's fourth by equity assets. The Royal Bank of Scotland opened its new global headquarters at Gogarburn in the west of the city in October 2005. Edinburgh has recently become home to the headquarters of Tesco Bank and Virgin Money.
Tourism is an important economic mainstay in the city. As a World Heritage Site, tourists come to visit such historical sites as Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Georgian New Town. This is augmented in August of each year with the presence of the Edinburgh Festivals, which bring in over 4.4 million visitors, and generate in excess of £100m for the Edinburgh economy.
As the centre of Scotland's government, as well as its legal system, the public sector plays a central role in the economy of Edinburgh, with many departments of the Scottish Government located in the city. Other major employers include NHS Scotland and local government administration.
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Famous quotes containing the word economy:
“I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical terms.”
—Calvin Coolidge (18721933)
“It enhances our sense of the grand security and serenity of nature to observe the still undisturbed economy and content of the fishes of this century, their happiness a regular fruit of the summer.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.... for really new ideas of any kindno matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to bethere is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”
—Jane Jacobs (b. 1916)