There was a time when it was so simple and easy for anyone looking for a job in Northampton: you made shoes. The town became synonymous with the manufacture of boots and shoes at the start of the 19th century and the dominance continued well into the 20th century. Little suprise then that Northampton FC are known as The Cobblers! You can still work as a cobbler in Northampton. The town now has a number of high quality shoe makers such as Crockett and Jones which employs hundreds of people making shoes by hand. It's a skilled and rewarding profession - but no longer enough to employ all of the East Midland town's 200,000 population.
The town has taken advantage of its geographic location to become a warehouse and distribution centre. Jobs in this sector are based at a range of business parks and industrial estates nearby, where companies such as Schweppes and Sainsbury’s and many others have national or regional depots. It also focuses on jobs in public admin, education, health and financial services - for instance, nearly 3,000 people are employed by Barclaycard and 1,200 by iPSL financial services.
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Major employers in the town include Avon, Carlsberg, DHL, Weetabix, Travis Perkins and Orchard House Foods. It's an unusual mix of companies and services offering a range of jobs for almost all skillsets.