Watford's economy ranks among the most prosperous in England.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Watford was worth an estimated £5.8 billion in 2019, according to figures published by the ONS. Watford's GDP growth between 2018 and 2019 was 1.6% per year. Compare GDP by area.
The Professional, Scientific & Technical Service (e.g. legal, accounting) industry is the largest in Watford based on the number of jobs, accounting for 18.7% of roles in the area.
2019 ONS figures suggest that there are 72,000 jobs in Watford, which has a working-age (aged 16-65) population of 62,163. The 2019 job density in Watford is 1.16, meaning there are 1.16 jobs per member of the Watford working-age population.
Watford had a mean average salary for full-time employees of £39,460 in 2021. Watford's unemployment rate is 5.2% as of 2021. Compare unemployment rate by area.
The 2019 labour force or working-age population in Watford is 62,163 or 64.3% of the total population.
In 2021, 94.8% of the labour market was recorded as employed, above the 94.8% average rate for England. Of those employed, 13.8% are self-employed, and 86.2% are employees.
The Annual Population Survey for 2020 published by the ONS reports the percentage of the Watford working-age (aged 16-64) population who have a degree or higher is 49.2%, which is above the 42.8% degree qualification rate for England.
Over 66% of the Watford working-age population have at least 2 A-levels (or equivalent), and 5% have no qualifications.
Main page: Watford Salary
The average salary in Watford as of 2021 is £39,460. Between 2020 and 2021, average salaries fell by £6,223. Compare average salaries by area.
Watford's salary growth rate is -13.62% per year based on changes in average salary between 2020 and 2021, which is 13.62% lower than the average salary growth rate in Watford over the past 9 years.
Business data published by the ONS in 2020 show the most common job group in Watford is Administrative Occupations, accounting for 13% of all roles in the area. In England as a whole, the largest job group is Business & Public Service Assoc. Professionals.
The fastest-growing type of job in Watford is Administrative Occupations, with roles increasing 183% between July 2020 and July 2021. In England, the fastest-growing type of role is Corporate Managers And Directors.
|Transport & Mobile Machine Drivers/operatives||4,000||10.0%||53.8%|
|Corporate Managers And Directors||3,800||9.5%||-33.3%|
|Business & Public Service Assoc. Professionals||3,000||7.5%||-23.1%|
There was a 7% increase in roles between 2019 and 2020. In England as a whole, there was a 2% decrease.
Based on the total number of jobs, the largest industry in Watford is Professional, Scientific & Technical Service (e.g. legal, accounting). Other major industries include Retail, Business Administration & Support, Health, which represents over 10% of roles in Watford.
Financial & Insurance companies make up 2% of the Watford economy that's lower than the average for England as a whole (~3%).
9% of the total jobs in Watford are in Information and Communication, one of the key sectors for the future, above the 5% of jobs in England as a whole.
|Professional, Scientific & Technical||13,000||18.7%|
|Business Administration & Support||8,000||11.5%|
|Information & Communication||6,000||8.7%|
The fastest-growing industry in Watford is Mining, Quarrying & Utilities, with jobs in the sector increasing 75% between 2019 and 2020 from 100 to 175. In England more broadly the fastest-growing industry is Healthcare.
The industry with the biggest decline in Watford between 2019 and 2020 was Financial & insurance, which saw an 29% decrease in roles, going from 1,750 to 1,250. In England more broadly the industry with the biggest year on year decline was Arts, entertainment & recreation, with roles decreasing by 8%.
The Information and communication industry includes many of the top companies of the future. In Watford, the number of roles in this sector has risen by 20% over the past year, above the 1% annual increase seen in England.
2021 UK Business Count data published by the ONS show there are 35 large businesses in Watford, making up 0.7% of total businesses - in England, 0.4% of businesses are large. A large business is defined as having over 250 employees.
There are 80 medium-sized businesses based in Watford, making up 1.5% of total businesses - in England, 1.5% of businesses are medium-sized. A medium-sized business is defined as having between 50 and 249 employees.
There are 385 small businesses based in Watford, making up 7.4% of total businesses - in England, 8.3% of businesses are small. A small business is defined as having between 10 and 49 employees.
Watford's unemployment rate is 5.2% that's 0% higher than the average unemployment rate for England as a whole. Unemployment rates are the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the working-age population.
The main group within the unemployment population is Long-term Sick, representing 30.7% of the unemployed population.
Secondary classifications include groups: student, looking after family, other, all of which represent over 10% of the unemployed population.
In England as a whole, students are the main group within the unemployed population, accounting for 28.9% of the unemployed population.
Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0. Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2021. Data sources: ONS Local statistics