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Unemployment inequality: 9 out of 10 of the worst affected cities in the north

 

Competition for jobs has reached an 8 year high according to the latest research from job search site Adzuna.co.uk. The latest data shows the sharpest rise in unemployment since the data started being collected in 1992. The unemployment figures reveal a concerning disparity between cities in the north and south, with 9 out of 10 of the worst affected cities located in the north of England, where the number of unemployed jobseekers vastly outweighs the number of jobs available in the city. Job losses have impacted Sunderland, Bradford and Salford the hardest with the number of jobseekers competing for each vacancy rising by 120%, 266% and 258% respectively in just 6 months.

Unemployment figures remain fairly muted in May according to the ONS, however the regional breakdown tells a different story with unemployment and job losses skyrocketing in major northern cities. The numbers are likely to grow as furlough schemes come to an end in the coming months. The UK has lost 54% of vacancies since January 2020 and job losses have hit northern regions disproportionately hard.

The top 50 cities in the UK were ranked by comparing the job vacancies in Adzuna’s comprehensive search index of 400,000 live jobs to the number of job seekers (claimants) in each city from the latest ONS data released today (16th June 2020).

Worst cities to find a job – Sunderland is the hardest city to find work for the second year in a row with the number of job seekers per advertised job in the city increasing by 120% over 6 months. Bradford is the second hardest city to find work with job seekers per job increasing by 282%. The sharp increase reflects the impact of coronavirus has had on the West Yorkshire city over 6 months.  Despite vacancies falling dramatically in both cities and unemployment rising, public sector jobs are prominent in both cities with healthcare and teaching jobs now the most in-demand in these cities. Salford, Hull, and Wirral round out the top 5 most difficult areas to find a job. Salford has seen the number of job seekers per vacancy increase by 281% in 6 months, followed by Hull (+88%) and Wirral (+224%). Swindon sees the biggest rise in job seekers per vacancy in the wake of coronavirus (+1,069%), but the number of job opportunities still available in the city prevents it from entering the worst 5 cities to find a job.

Best cities to find a job – Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford, Winchester and Exeter top the list of best places to find a job despite the economic downturn, with vacancies still outnumbering the number of jobseekers. Cambridge is currently the best place to find a job with 7.3 jobs per jobseeker across the city. Cambridge is buoyed with Engineering and IT opportunities. Oxford is in second place with 6.7 job seekers per vacancy and is home to hundreds of healthcare and IT opportunities. While southern cities dominate the hotspot list Manchester rounds up the top three, with 5.7 jobs per job seeker, largely in IT, accounting, healthcare and teaching.

The rise in unemployment across the UK highlights social disparity caused by coronavirus, with affluent cities such as Cambridge and Oxford comparatively unaffected. 9 out of 10 of the hardest cities to find a job are located in the North, while Manchester is the only Northern city to enter the top 10 easiest places to find a job.

 

 

Sector Hotspots – Healthcare and IT jobs are the top hiring sectors nationally, making up 68,935 and 54,070 advertised jobs respectively. London, Manchester and Birmingham are the top locations for healthcare professionals, while IT jobs are most prevalent in Bristol, Cambridge and Edinburgh.  Logistics and warehouse jobs are still in demand as online shopping surges. Logistics and Warehouse positions are the sector that is most even spread across the country.

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said “Unemployment has unfortunately reached record highs and has heavily impacted some regions in the UK a lot more than others. Northern cities are disproportionately impacted by job losses with all 9 out of 10 of the worst affected cities situated in the north of England. The disparity in job losses highlights a wider economic inequality with ‘middle-class’ cities such as Oxford and Cambridge comparatively unaffected. Our data shows that lower-income workers have been hit the hardest by job losses and we need to ensure that more is done to provide support to the groups of people that need support the most”

‘The situation is likely to get worse in the coming months as the government’s Job Retention Scheme winds up over the summer. There is a real risk that unemployment could double again by the end of the year, so getting Britain back to work in the coming weeks is critical to avoid long term economic damage.’

 

Best cities to find a job

 

Rank

City

Jobseekers per Vacancy

% 6 month change

1

Cambridge

0.14

330%

2

Oxford

0.15

366%

3

Maidstone

0.15

175%

4

Manchester

0.17

256%

5

Reading

0.18

283%

6

Guilford

0.22

417%

7

Bristol

0.24

256%

8

Winchester

0.25

392%

9

Stevenage

0.26

270%

10

Exeter

0.29

371%

 

Worst cities to find a job

 

Rank

City

Jobseekers per Vacancy

% 6 month change

1

Sunderland

4.3

120%

2

Bradford

3.9

282%

3

Salford

3.3

281%

4

Hull

3.1

88%

5

Wirral

2.7

224%

6

Rochdale

2.1

166%

7

Wolverhampton

2.0

129%

8

Belfast

1.9

83%

9

Middlesbrough

1.7

65%

10

Leeds

1.3

468%