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The Best UK Cities for Jobs In 2018

04 December 2018
Besma Whayeb
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Looking for a new job? Chances are, you’ll find your next position in one of these top UK cities. We’ve compiled data from seven different employment surveys to bring you the ultimate list of UK locations with the best job opportunities.

Sometimes it makes sense to change location to follow your job, so make sure you’re making a smart move to one of these areas. You’ll have better job opportunities, as well as work-life balance, and some other factors that may really matter to you.

Check out the list – and let us know if you’re surprised that London didn’t make the cut!

1. Manchester

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Top of our list is Manchester, in the North West of England. Despite being the third most populous cities in the UK, it’s been one of the easiest places to get a job since 2016.

Jobs in the city have a median base salary of £23,000, and in the past year, there have been 35,000+ new job openings. The job market in Manchester is set to keep growing too – by around 15% each year.

If you’re looking for a job in Engineering, HealthcareManufacturing & Production, or Social Care, this is the top city to work in.

Manchester also boasts great green spaces, shopping, nightlife, and transportation. It’s also the best city to look for graduate jobs in, too.

Search for jobs in Manchester →

2. Birmingham

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Birmingham is the UK’s second biggest city in terms of its population, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough room for you! In fact, job opportunities have really boomed in the past few years in Birmingham.

With a huge 40,000 job openings this year, the city is incredibly attractive to jobseekers. It also has a median base salary of £24,000, which is above the UK’s average salary.

The city is well known for its manufacturing and logistics background, but it has evolved to be a haven for Engineers – from Design & Development to Electrical – as well as Medical careers.

Search for jobs in Birmingham →

3. Bristol

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Bristol has been great for jobs over the last few years, with a steady growth of 8% in 2017, and 27,300+ new job openings this year.

The city is known for its Shipping industry, however it also has a strong local economy in Financial Services and Electronics.

Bristol also has a high base salary of £24,500, although house prices and the cost of living are more expensive here than some of the other cities on the list. The city also boasts great cultural activities, healthcare, and nightlife.

Search for jobs in Bristol →

4. Edinburgh

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Edinburgh was recently named the most attractive city to live and work in according to Royal Mail, and it’s no surprise. With its beautiful architecture, rich history, and so many things to do in your free time, it’s a city all about work-life balance.

The main industries in the city include Banking, Scientific Research, Education, and Tourism.

Edinburgh is also second best city to start your career in, according to Market Inspector. Key highlights include its education opportunities, high earnings, and strong business community. What more could you want?

Finally, the city was also named the number one place to start a business by Startups, with over 500 coffee shops to set up casual meetings and almost 1000 bars to end the day in.

Search for jobs in Edinburgh →

5. Glasgow

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The Scottish theme continues, with Glasgow coming in at number five on our list of the best UK cities for jobs.

Jobs in Glasgow rose a massive 14.6% from 2016 to 2017, and look set to continue across 2018 and into 2019. The city, while still a major Manufacturing employer, also supports over 52,000 jobs in Business and Financial Services alone, and is ranked in the top 10 cities to start a career in other than London.

Glasgow is often overshadowed by Edinburgh, but it’s worth looking again when it comes to Scotland’s most populous city. Ranked as the number one city for greenspace, and other highlights include its cultural attractions and access to education.

Scotland is also the second best place to work for Medical and Dental professionals, only bested by London.

Search for jobs in Glasgow →

6. Leeds

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The city of Leeds ranks highly due to the great earnings and job opportunities to be had in the Public SectorTeaching and Education, and Healthcare. The local economy is estimated to be worth a giant £64.6 billion, and new jobs keep popping up, with 32,600+ new job openings this year.

You can expect a base salary of over £22,000 for a new job here, and as the cost of living in Yorkshire & the Humber is relatively low, your money will go even further.

Search for jobs in Leeds →

7. Sheffield

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We’re sticking in Yorkshire for our next entry: Sheffield. The former industrial town has grown into a metropolitan city with low office costs and affordable housing, making it an attractive place to move for work.

Jobs on the rise in the city, with a leap of 13.5% in 2016-2017. Top industries include Manufacturing, Construction, Logistics, and Tourism.

The city also boasts some beautiful green spaces, and affordable transport costs to make your salary go even further.

Search for jobs in Sheffield →


8. Aberdeen

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Another entry for Scotland! The third Scottish city on our list is Aberdeen, which has a high base salary across the city of £27,000.

As one of the top cities to start your career in, and also one of the happiest places in the UK, it has great prospects both for your career and your life outside of work.

The city has brilliant career opportunities in Agriculture, Electronics, and Oil, among others.


Search for jobs in Aberdeen →

9. Liverpool

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Our penultimate listing is the historic city of Liverpool.

With almost 16,300 job openings this year, a £19,200 base salary, and the #1 spot for house affordability and office costs, it provides everything you need in a stable job, income, and home.

For entrepreneurs, Liverpool is also amongst the top three cities to start a business in.

The also city ranks highly due to its varied job opportunities – from Banking to Education, Media to Public, there’s a lot going on!

Search for jobs in Liverpool →

10. Belfast

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As our final entry on the list, we’re really happy to see Northern Ireland represented by Belfast. It truly shows there is opportunity all across the UK!

While Belfast previously one of the hardest places to find a job, that’s changed over the last few years. With over 8,000 new job openings in the past year, and an average base salary of £24,000, it’s definitely one to watch. The city has great options for affordable housing, and low office costs too – second only to Liverpool.

In terms of industries, Belfast is a great place if you’re looking to work in Education, Retail, and Tourism.

Belfast also ranks in the top five cities to work in as a new graduate, meaning there are a lot of entry-level positions to be had!

Search for jobs in Belfast →