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The best cities for work revealed

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Milton Keynes, Oxford, and York top the list

Milton Keynes, Oxford, York, St Albans, and Norwich have the best job opportunities. This is according to new research from HR software provider Ciphr.

The research looked at 50 cities across the country and compared factors such as their average earnings, recent salary growth, employment rate changes, unemployment rate, number of job listings, SME density, life satisfaction, happiness scores, and housing affordability.

Based on their research, they arrived at the top 15 cities that offer the best employment opportunities for job hunters or people looking for a change of career:

  • Milton Keynes (#1 for job opportunities)
  • Oxford (#1 for employment rate growth and happiness)
  • York
  • St Albans (#1 for highest average salary and lowest unemployment rate)
  • Norwich
  • Cambridge (#1 for job listings per person)
  • Colchester (#1 for salary growth)
  • Aberdeen
  • Bristol
  • Coventry
  • Leeds
  • Canterbury (#1 for life satisfaction)
  • Gloucester
  • Doncaster (#1 for housing affordability)
  • Wrexham

Top paying cities

  • St Albans with an average full-time salary of £46,551. (41% above the UK average)
  • London, with an average salary of £39,391
  • Cambridge
  • Milton Keynes
  • Oxford

Top cities for inflation-beating salary growth

  • Colchester (12.9%)
  • Chichester (12.1%)
  • Wrexham (11.5%)
  • Salford (11.2%)
  • Portsmouth (10.7%)

The average salaries in these cities are all around the UK average of £33,000.

Best cities for job seekers

  • Cambridge (396 job postings per 10,000 working-age people)
  • Exeter (373)
  • Bristol (326)
  • Manchester (318)
  • Oxford (289)
  • Norwich (286)
  • Nottingham (272)
  • Gloucester (259)
  • Preston (247)
  • York (229).

The UK average is 183 postings per 10,000 working-age people.

Most affordable cities to buy or rent

A city’s level of affordability is an important consideration, especially with the current cost-of-living crisis. The midlands or north of England – Doncaster, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Hull, and Bradford topped the list.

London, Oxford, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Bristol, and Winchester were at the other end of the scale, with housing being the least affordable compared to the average salary.

For renters, the best city is Hull, as the average rent is around 20% of the average salary. On the other hand, the most expensive city is Edinburgh, with a rent-to-income ratio of 46%.

The best city for home buyers is Belfast.  The average property price of £156,161 is 5.2 times the average income. In comparison, London has an average property price of £743,738  – 18.9 times the average salary.

The UK’s happiest cities

  • According to the Office for National Statistics’ latest annual personal well-being survey results, the following cities topped the list with an average score of 15.5 out of 20. Winchester
  • Lancaster
  • Oxford

The full results of the report are available at www.ciphr.com/best-uk-cities-for-job-opportunities-2023



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