More than half of all English people work in the service sector, which includes jobs in finance, transportation, education, tourism, the arts, health and recreation. England's financial sector is centred on a square mile of downtown London known as "the City." It is one of the busiest financial-services districts in the world. It holds the greatest concentration of overseas banks in the world and the world's biggest foreign exchange market, as well as large insurance companies and commodities markets.

Manufacturing employs about 17% of England's workers. Britain has a long history of producing goods, from ships, cars and steel to textiles, china and soap. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, factories were powered by coal from British mines. These industries created jobs, but also environmental pollution. Today, the air is cleaner, but there are fewer jobs in industry, and former industrial towns such as Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford are declining in importance. The loss of industrial jobs has also decreased the power of England's trade unions, which once fought for workers' rights.

Today, jobs are being created in new industries, including robotics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, computers, aerospace components, electronics and telecommunications equipment. Modern factories are powered with oil and gas from underneath the North Sea or with electricity from nuclear power plants. Tourism is also a source of new jobs. The number of visitors to Great Britain has doubled over the last two decades. Most visitors are from North America and Europe.

About three-quarters of England's land area is used for farming, but because of mechanization, only about 1% of the population works in agriculture. In the upland areas of the north and west, farmers raise livestock, including cattle and sheep. In the lowland areas in the east and south, farmers grow wheat, barley, oats, hay, vegetables and sugar beets. In coastal areas, fishing is important

   Did you know?
England has been an important centre for printing and publishing ever since William Caxton set up a press at Westminster (now part of London) in the 15th century. Today, English publishers produce more than 75,000 new book titles a year.
   Did you know?
The computer was invented in the 1820s by the English mathematician Charles Babbage. He designed a machine called a "difference engine" that could perform mathematical calculations. Although he lacked the money to build his machine, machines built in the 20th century using his designs work perfectly.