ThamesValley.info sweet Geo for development offers Wikipedia: Economy The Thames Valley region is one of the wealthiest regions in the European Union, helped by good communications, a well educated work force, proximity to London, and strong local employers. Its economy was valued at £32 billion in 2007. In the twentieth century, historic industries have been replaced by modern knowledge-based industries, primarily information and communications technology and life sciences. The direct labour force amounts to 1 million people, but the total workforce within an hour of the Thames Valley towns is close to 3.7 million. Since 2002, the Thames Valley has been the UK’s fastest growing region, averaging 3.5 per cent economic growth after inflation, well ahead of the 2.5 per cent national average. Productivity is high, averaging £49,000 per worker in 2006, £8,600 higher than the south-east average. The workforce is skilled: 29 per cent of employment is in the knowledge economy, compared with the national average of 17 per cent, and 37 per cent of people in employment hold a degree. One-fifth of Thames Valley workers are employed in managerial and senior positions, five points higher than the UK average.