Searching for job vacancies in the UK? You had better look beyond the capital

Where can you expect the most competition?

There has been an increase in job vacancies in certain UK cities in recent years, and the UK capital doesn’t even make the top ten. With London excluded from the running, where are the best places for finding employment? Where can you expect the most competition?

There are certain cities in the UK that one would expect to find opportunities. This spans from northern metropolitan areas such as Manchester down to Exeter, where its isolation as one of the only cities in that part of the country puts it down as an employment ‘hotspot’ for jobseekers in the area.

The best city in the country for finding vacancies is the prosperous university city of Cambridge. Famed not only for its ancient campus, but also for shopping, tourism hotspots and its pristine river, Cambridge is something of a playground for workers, businesses and recruiters hoping to achieve personal growth.

Then, you discover that there is an incredible 20 jobs per jobseeker in the city. It is a similar story in Oxford and Southampton too, two more aesthetically pleasing southern cities that take their place amongst the prosperous.

There is, however, an emerging threat to this prosperity. Recent evidence has shown that wages have dipped significantly below the rate of inflation. This divide has engulfed many UK cities, with more expensive southern locations such as Cambridge suffering the impact of falling wages.

This could make filling roles elsewhere seem more attractive to all parties involved – even if it means more competition. Cities like Warrington, Winchester and Reading are among the more moderately priced locations, and could provide a middle-ground between the extremes of other cities.

People can find themselves choosing between places where jobs are sparser but wages go further, and places where jobs are not the problem, but money most certainly is.

This may be the trap that the city of London has tumbled into, and it now battles for a place among UK cities where employment is not just possible – but almost guaranteed. So if London has fallen off the wagon, what city has taken its place?

If you could swap the bright lights of London, Manchester or Southampton for something different, Swindon may not be top of the list. Rough around the edges it may be, but there are an impressive eight jobs for every jobseeker in the city.

Employment surveys such as the one recently conducted by Adzuna can throw out some surprises – but Swindon is a place that many recruiters and businesses see as a no-go area in terms of lucrative opportunities. The reality has proven to be different.

While your chances of finding more job roles are high near the southern skyscrapers, you can end up finding hidden gems in places you certainly did not anticipate.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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