Living and Working in Oxford
It’s given us Stephen Hawking, Hugh Laurie, Radiohead and the world’s most famous university, but what else keeps Oxford’s 158,000 citizens sticking around? Let’s find out…
What types of industry are prominent in Oxford?
Understandably given the combined presence of Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University, plus 32,000 students, the education sector is perhaps the crucial industry associated with the city. In fact, Oxford’s government notes that 67% of Oxford jobs are centred exclusively around knowledge-intensive industries. That said, there are many other key sectors, including health, publishing (specifically academic), tourism, hospitality, car-manufacturingand, notably, a world-renowned research sector.
Which top companies are situated in Oxford?
According to Oxford’s official government statistics, Oxford is home to around 4,600 businesses providing 114,000 jobs. Just some of the top companies situated in the city include Oxford Council, the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, NHS Oxfordshire, BMW, Midcounties Co-op, the Science & Technologies Facilities Council and BT. Additionally, Oxford is also a base to many companies including manufacturing, logistics and consulting experts Unipart Group and world-renowned charity Oxfam, who both have their headquarters there. It’s also worth mentioning Oxford’s ever-growing tech cluster that is defining itself by software and gaming development thanks to companies like Natural Motion, Brainomix and Onfido.
What’s commuting in Oxford like?
The ozone layer must love Oxford: commutes by bicycle, foot and bus have all increased lately, while car commutes have stayed roughly at the same level – that’s 68% of journeys within the city being made up from sustainable methods of travel. That’s also good news for congestion considering that, according to Oxford’s government, some 46,000 workers living elsewhere have to commute in by car, train and other means.
What are the salaries like?
In the recent Best Places in the UK to Make a Living survey by Total Money (via the Independent), Oxford charted impressively – coming in at number 19 out of 64.
In terms of employment statistics, it does incredibly well with just a 3.7% unemployment rate and job growth standing at 7% – indeed, one of the unique things to bear in mind is that there are actually more jobs in Oxford than residents (it has a job density ratio of 1.08). The downside is that Oxford’s also the least affordable city in the UK with average house prices 16.2 times the average earnings. For example: Oxford’s median monthly take-home salary of £1,991 is balanced by an average monthly mortgage repayment of £1,423, compared to number 1-placed Blackburn’s £1,646 median monthly take-home salary against a £354 mortgage repayment.
How about Oxford’s nightlife?
Oxford is blessed with great pubs with real history. TV fans can head over to the Turf Tavern (as featured on the Morse TV series), or literature fans can head to the Eagle & Child (a local to JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, once upon a time). For a louder evening, music fans can visit the 02 Academy Oxford for a chance to see everyone from Public Image Ltd to Nelly this year.
Oxford doesn’t attract 7 million visitors per year for no reason. One of the most enjoyable things you can do – weather permitting – is go punting along the river Cherwell. Should the rain strike, however, get into the academic spirit of Oxford and visit the historic Bodleian Library – which was opened in 1602!
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