The global pandemic stifled UK hiring levels, but confidence is starting to return and job opportunities are slowly but surely improving. The good news is that there are now 535,500 job openings across the UK, up 53% from the low of 350,700 seen mid-May. But the recovery is patchy and some sectors and cities are richer job hunting grounds than others. We took at look at the cities and sectors hiring across the UK so you know where to focus your job hunt.
Techies in Cambridge are the most in-demand workers in the UK
Despite a nationwide plunge in hiring, job openings still outnumber jobseekers in two UK cities, Cambridge and Guildford. Competition for jobs sits at just 0.7 jobseekers per vacancy in Cambridge, meaning there are almost two open positions for each jobseeker. Guildford follows close behind, with a ratio of 0.9 jobseekers to vacancies. IT is the top hiring sector in both these cities, with Cambridge nicknamed ‘Silicon Fen’ due to the growing cluster of tech companies based there and Guildford an emerging ‘digital suburb’ within a stone’s throw of the capital.
Winchester comes in third position, with supply and demand matching up and a competition for jobs ratio of one person job hunting for every job available. Healthcare & Nursing is the hottest hiring local sector.
Outside of the home counties, The South West is holding up particularly well to pandemic pressures. Hubs Exeter and Taunton both feature in the easiest 10 cities to find a job list, making the South West one of the best regions to look for work in the UK.
Overall, the 10 best towns and cities to find a job all have fewer than three jobseekers competing for each role, compared to more than 40 jobseekers vying for every job in the most competitive areas of the country. Workers in Northern Ireland are having some of the hardest time finding work, with job openings in cities like Derry, Antrim and Lisburn few and far between and almost 60 jobseekers competing for each opening.
In terms of total vacancy volume, London is home to the most job openings with 42,700 job vacancies currently advertised on Adzuna, but more than 5 jobseekers going after each role. Manchester and Bristol are the second and third top hiring cities, hosting 14,500 and 10,100 jobs respectively and competition for jobs rates of 3.1 and 3.6.
The Midlands is thriving as a hiring powerhouse, with Birmingham (7,600 job ads), Dudley (6,600) and Nottingham (4,800) all featuring in the top 10 hiring cities. Of these hiring hotspots, advertised salaries are highest in Birmingham, averaging £37,683, suggesting this is a good location to focus on for Midlanders looking for top dollar.
Table 1: The best places to find a job in the UK
|Rank||City||Competition for jobs||Top hiring sector|
|3||Winchester||1.0||Healthcare & Nursing|
|5||Exeter||1.6||Trade & Construction|
|6||Welwyn Garden City||1.7||Trade & Construction|
|7||Oxford||1.7||Healthcare & Nursing|
|8||Chelmsford||2.0||Healthcare & Nursing|
|9||Stafford||2.1||Healthcare & Nursing|
|10||Taunton||2.2||Healthcare & Nursing|
Table 2: The worst places to find a job
|Rank||City||Competition for jobs|
|1||Causeway Coast & Glens||72.5|
|2||Mid & East Antrim||68.4|
|3||Derry City & Strabane||61.7|
|5||Ards & North Down||60.5|
|6||Lisburn & Castlereagh||59.1|
|8||Barking & Dagenham||44.7|
Table 3: The hottest hiring UK cities
|Rank||City||Live vacancies||Average advertised salary|
Logistics & Warehouse Jobs spike since Covid-19 pandemic
We also had a look at which sectors have stood up best to Covid-19. The wider trend is of skills shortage industries faring better through the crisis, with hiring still going strong in sectors like IT, Trade & Construction and Engineering.
Two sectors have beaten the odds and increased hiring since the pandemic. There are currently 43,200 advertised Logistics & Warehouse positions, making it the fourth biggest hiring sector in the UK, and hiring volumes have grown significantly since the start of the year with job ads up 24% compared to before Covid-19.
The Domestic Help & Cleaning sector has also been on a hiring drive since the pandemic, with 8,800 job openings currently on offer, 8% higher than at the start of the year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Healthcare & Nursing is the sector currently hiring the most, with 74,800 job openings currently on offer across the country.
The IT industry is also going great guns, with 57,400 job vacancies available, paying a healthy average salary of £52,373.
Table 4: The hottest hiring sectors in the UK – resilience since Covid-19
|Rank||Sector||Live vacancies||Change since the first 7 weeks of 2020 (pre-Covid19)|
|1||Logistics & Warehouse||43,200||+24%|
|2||Domestic Help & Cleaning||8,800||+8%|
|4||Healthcare & Nursing||74,800||-13%|
|5||Trade & Construction||46,600||-15%|
Table 5: The hottest hiring sectors in the UK – total vacancies
|Rank||Sector||Live vacancies||Average advertised salary|
|1||Healthcare & Nursing||74,800||£39,200|
|3||Trade & Construction||46,600||£38,250|
|4||Logistics & Warehouse||43,200||£24,568|
We hope that’s a useful overview of the UK jobs market and the sectors and cities worth considering if you’re on the hunt for work. We know it’s tough out there right now, but things are gradually picking up and if you know where to look, there are thousands of jobs on offer. To start your job search, or for more data insights, check out our UK website.