WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 28, 2014
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The 10 Best UK Cities to Look for Jobs

search for jobs
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Good news: The unemployed population is down by 115,000  and employment has increased compared to last quarter, according to the Office of National Statistics. Even better news is that unemployment is under 2 million, and this is the first time unemployment figures have fallen below the 2 million mark since 2008. But which are the best places to look for work?

A think tank, called Centre for Cities, has come onto my radar. Centre for Cities is a “non-partisan think tank dedicated to understanding and improving city economies” . It does this by reviewing “evidence-based research” and exploring the factors which affect Britain’s economies, such as employment.  The think tank looks at 64 of the largest towns and cities and publishes economic data for them.

So which are the cities that boast most employment growth and job prosperity, according to the Centre for Cities?  The data tells us that the city with the highest employment rate is Reading. But which other cities make the top 10?

Here’s the latest available data with data on key factors:

 Key Factors (showing UK average data)

  •  Employment rate – UK average is 71%
  •  Private sector employment growth  - UK average is 0.10%
  •  Ratio of private to public sector employment  -UK average is 2.70
  •  Average weekly earnings – UK average is £490.20
  •  Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count rate (the percentage of people in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance) – UK average is 3.00

Based on the employment rate, here are the top 10 best cities for jobs in the UK:

1. Reading

  •     Employment rate: 78.11%
  •     Private sector employment growth:-0.12%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment: 3.65
  •     Average weekly earnings: £606.07
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 1.56

2. Warrington

  •     Employment rate: 77.49%
  •     Private sector employment growth:-0.16%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment: 3.65
  •     Average weekly earnings:£507.30
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 2.55

3. Cambridge

  •     Employment rate: 76.79%
  •     Private sector employment growth:3.55%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment: 1.50
  •     Average weekly earnings:£556.20
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 1.37

4. Aberdeen

  •    Employment rate: 75.60%
  •    Private sector employment growth: 2.70%
  •    Ratio of private to public sector employment: 3.19
  •    Average weekly earnings: £532.90
  •    Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 1.46

5. Crawley

  •    Employment rate: 74.31%
  •    Private sector employment growth: 2.92%
  •    Ratio of private to public sector employment:4.18
  •    Average weekly earnings: £605.21
  •    Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 1.67

6. Norwich

  •     Employment rate: 74.18
  •     Private sector employment growth: 0.45%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment: 2.90
  •     Average weekly earnings: £444.73
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 2.63

 7. Milton Keynes

  •     Employment rate:74.03%
  •     Private sector employment growth: 1.13%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment:3.79
  •     Average weekly earnings: £549.90
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 2.32

8. York

  •     Employment rate: 73.60%
  •     Private sector employment growth: -4.91%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment:2.21
  •     Average weekly earnings: £480.20
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 1.60

9. Preston

  •     Employment rate: 73.40%
  •     Private sector employment growth: -2.51%
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment:2.13
  •     Average weekly earnings:£439.66
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 2.28

10. Aldershot

  •     Employment rate: 71.53 %
  •     Private sector employment growth :9.37%:
  •     Ratio of private to public sector employment:4.13
  •     Average weekly earnings: £577.54
  •     Job Seeker’s Allowance claimant count: 1.46

It’s easy for new graduates to assume that the capital is the place to be when it comes to work; a place where the lights are bright and the streets are paved with gold. But this research suggests that perhaps they shouldn’t. In fact, London doesn’t even make the top ten. It’s also important to remember that a good job isn’t just about the pay packet or the availability of jobs. The Centre for Cities’ data tool provides information on other important factors such as transport links, housing prices and well-being.

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