Economic Statistics

Economic Statistics

Quick facts 

  • Oxford is home to around 4,600 businesses providing 114,000 jobs.
  • The city has a large number of people employed in universities and the public sector, but also has significant jobs in other sectors including publishing, tourism, hospitality and a growing hi-tech sector fuelled by the highly-qualified workforce. For additional details, please visit our labour market and major employers pages.
  • There is a high level of commuting in to the city. According to the 2011 Census 100,000 people had their main job in Oxford – 46,000 of them lived outside the city.
  • Oxford is the tourism gateway to the rest of Oxfordshire. We attract approximately 7 million day time and staying visitors per year, generating £780 million of income for local Oxford businesses. In terms of overseas visitors to the UK, Oxford is the seventh most visited city for staying visits.
  • In common with the rest of the UK, there was a sharp increase in unemployment as a result of the 2008 recession. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit (Jobseeker's Allowance or JSA) rose from 1,600 in October 2008 to a peak of nearly 3,000 in May 2009. After four years in which the number of claims were elevated, there was a sharp fall during 2013. The number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants plus those who claim Universal Credit who are out of work is currently 995 as of March 2016.
  • The number of people unemployed is different to the number of people claiming JSA or UC – as some unemployed people choose not to claim or are not eligible to claim. The most recent estimate of Oxford's unemployment rate is 3.7% for the period Apr 2014–Mar 2015; this is (statistically) significantly below the national average of 6.0%.

Economic Publications 

Oxford Business Survey 2015

Oxford Economic Narrative (July 2012)

Oxford Profile 2016

Social trends in Oxford (2014)


Charts of the Month

NEET count exceeds youth JSA claimants as UC benefits are introduced (February 2016)

Impact of Tourism on Oxford's Economy (December 2015)

Occupations in Oxford (March 2015)

Where do people work in Oxford? (August 2014)

Medium-sized business most likely to be growing (May 2012)

Oxford's importance goes beyond its size (February 2012)


Latest unemployment estimate for Oxford (live link via NOMIS)

Businesses in Oxford by employment size (2015)

Economic activity rates in Oxford (2011 Census)

Further links

The Centre for Cities published an economic factsheet about Oxford, and a detailed report about Oxford and other fast growth cities.

Nomis publishes a profile of Oxford's labour market which contains the most comprehensive and up to date statistics.

Latest figures on Jobseeker's Allowance claimants (external link to Nomis website)

Latest figures on employment and unemployment (external link to Nomis website)

Information and research about tourism in the county on the Experience Oxfordshire website