Onrec logo The Online Recruitment Resource

Cambridge overtakes Swindon to become easiest city to find a job

University city rivals Oxford and Cambridge have overtaken Swindon to become the top cities in the UK to find a job, according to the latest research from job search engine Adzuna.

Company Profile

Adzuna

  • 25 jobs to every jobseeker in Cambridge, with Oxford following closely behind
  • Cambridge and Oxford see 7 year low in jobseeker competition, overtaking Swindon
  • Surge in hiring is supported by tech boom
  • Hardest 5 cities to find a job all in Midlands & North: Hull is the hardest city to find a job with 3x more jobseekers than vacancies

University city rivals Oxford and Cambridge have overtaken Swindon to become the top cities in the UK to find a job, according to the latest research from job search engine Adzuna.

In Cambridge, 25x more jobs are being advertised than there are jobseekers looking for positions, with the ratio of jobseekers to vacancies falling to 0.04 in February 2019, the best odds for jobseekers across all UK cities. This also represents the lowest competition rate recorded since Adzuna began monitoring the data seven years ago.

Not to be outdone, Oxford is just behind with 20 jobs per jobseeker (0.05 jobseekers per vacancy), the second best rate in the UK. This is the first time that the two famous university cities have overtaken Swindon (0.051) as the easiest place to find a job. Competition levels across all three southern cities are substantially beneath the UK average of 0.26 jobseekers per vacancy.

Perhaps as a result of the tough hiring conditions for employers, jobseekers in these locations can also expect better pay. Advertised salaries in Cambridge averaged £38,387 in February, Oxford opportunities offered £36,177 and Swindon roles advertised £41,454, all significantly above the UK average of £35,058.

Cambridge leads the way in terms of total opportunities for jobseekers offering 9,530 vacancies in February, nearly double Oxford’s 4,886. Meanwhile, Swindon saw 4,476 roles on offer.

Table 1: Oxbridge vs the rest of the UK, February 2019

 

Cambridge

Oxford

UK Average

Jobseekers per vacancy

0.04

0.05

0.26

Advertised Salaries

£38,387

£36,177

£35,058

Advertised Vacancies

9,530

4,886

1,056,841 total

Technology and innovation driving forward Oxford and Cambridge

The IT sector is leading the jobs boom in both Oxford and Cambridge, according to the data. There are currently 1,320 IT vacancies advertised in growing tech-hub Cambridge, with two of the city’s top 5 employers falling within this field: IoT firm ARM (182 vacancies) and video game developer Jagex (73 vacancies). Oxford currently has 678 advertised IT vacancies, including with game developer Rebellion (28 vacancies).

Both cities also have strong expertise in Engineering, Trade & Construction and Healthcare & Nursing, with other top employers including biomedical engineers AstraZeneca (67 vacancies) in Cambridge and biopharmaceutical company Oxford BioMedica (61 vacancies) in Oxford.

Table 2: Top hiring sectors in Oxford and Cambridge, by vacancy levels

 

Cambridge

Oxford

1

IT

1,320 vacancies

IT

678 vacancies

2

Engineering

869

Healthcare & Nursing

600

3

Trade & Construction

642

Hospitality & Catering

485

4

Healthcare & Nursing

613

Trade & Construction

460

5

Accounting & Finance

554

Engineering

353

Table 3: Top hiring companies in Oxford and Cambridge, by vacancy levels

 

Cambridge

Oxford

1

ARM

182 vacancies

Oxford BioMedica

61 vacancies

2

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

76

Rebellion

28

3

Jagex

73

G4S

22

4

AstraZeneca

67

AECOM

18

5

Cambridge Assessment

48

Oxford University Press

16

North-South divide in jobseeker competition

At the bottom of the league, Hull is the hardest place to find work with 2.73 jobseekers fighting it out over every vacancy. Jobseekers in Hull can also expect lower pay rates hand-in-hand with this increased competition. Advertised salaries averaged £29,848 in February, meaning jobseekers are paid on average £8,500 less than in Cambridge.

Sunderland (2.13), Middlesbrough (1.68), Bradford (1.34) and Salford (1.31) complete the top 5 hardest cities to find a job in the UK; notably all in the Midlands and North, suggesting a North-South divide in jobseeker competition.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments:

“Choosing where to start your job search can have a huge impact on both how easy it is to get a job and your potential pay-packet. The sizeable salaries on offer in Cambridge are £8.5k larger than in Hull. In fact, all of the top 5 cities to find a job currently sit in the South, with cities like Hull and Sunderland continuing to play catch-up with their Southern counterparts. And with up to 25x more jobs on offer than people to fill them, jobhunters in these top areas are in a great position to negotiate on pay, perks and holiday packages - something for the Class of 2019 to bear in mind after graduation.

“Drilling into the detail, innovation and new technologies are driving this divide in jobseeker competition. The last few years have seen an explosion of tech jobs created in cities like Cambridge and Oxford, as well as steady growth along the M4 corridor in tech stalwarts Swindon and Reading. The general trend is one of improvement across the whole of the UK, with employment levels at record highs, it’s just that cities like Cambridge and Oxford have grown at a far faster rate than the rest.”