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Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015.Leeds is also the UK's third-largest manufacturing centre with around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city and is worth over £7 billion to the local economy.In the 17th and 18th centuries Leeds became a major centre for the production and trading of wool.During the Industrial Revolution, Leeds developed into a major mill town; wool was the dominant industry, but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing, and other industries were important.An inhabitant of Leeds is locally known as a Loiner, a word of uncertain origin.

The railway network constructed around Leeds, starting with the Leeds and Selby Railway in 1834, provided improved communications with national markets and, significantly for its development, an east-west connection with Manchester and the ports of Liverpool and Hull giving improved access to international markets.

The name has been applied to many administrative entities over the centuries.

It changed from being the name of a small manorial borough in the 13th century, through several incarnations, to being the name attached to the present metropolitan borough.

The city is the home of several firsts, including the oldest-surviving film in existence, Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) and the 1767 invention of soda water, the defining component of most soft drinks.

Public transport, rail and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds.

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