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The best places to work in the UK have been revealed – and you won’t believe which one is top

Posted by
Tom Victor
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The UK’s best towns and cities to work in have been named, and there are a couple of genuine surprises on there.

The listing, put together by job search engine and review site Glassdoor, gives UK towns and cities a ranking out of five based on hiring opportunity, cost of living and job satisfaction.

Considerations include the number of job openings, median base salary, job satisfaction rating out of five (based on at least 80 company reviews shared by local employees on Glassdoor over the past year) and median home value.

This way, the final results are not just about earning potential, and it throws up some unexpected results.

London is nowhere to be seen for example, despite the earning potential, with Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr Andrew Chamberlain explaining “it has proven not only to be an expensive place to live, but also an ultra-competitive city in which to find a job”.

So, if London isn’t there, and one of Europe’s best cities can’t quite crack the top five, which cities have made it? Let’s find out.

ricky-gervais-david-brent

25. Peterborough – 3.4

Job Openings: 8,944

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £22,060

Median Home Value: £219,824

peterborough-cathedral

24. Hull – 3.5

Job Openings: 2,102

Job Satisfaction: 2.9

Median Base Salary: £22,500

Median Home Value: £134,430

hull-city-centre

23. Blackpool – 3.5

Job Openings: 2,013

Job Satisfaction: 3.2

Median Base Salary: £18,000

Median Home Value: £118,681

blackpool-tower-reflection

22. Bristol – 3.5

Job Openings: 37,367

Job Satisfaction: 3.5

Median Base Salary: £25,598

Median Home Value: £314,274

bristol-aerial-view

21. Newcastle Upon Tyne – 3.5

Job Openings: £13,734

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £22,000

Median Home Value: £204,556

newcastle-tyne

20. Dundee – 3.5

Job Openings: 4,992

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £20,000

Median Home Value: £156,016

dundee-scotlant

19. Luton – 3.5

Job Openings: 9,786

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £29,000

Median Home Value: £260,288

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top

18. Aberdeen – 3.5

Job Openings: 4,548

Job Satisfaction: 3.2

Median Base Salary: £32,500

Median Home Value: £223,625

aberdeen-scotland
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17. Southampton – 3.6

Job Openings: 19,319

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £26,000

Median Home Value: £285,088

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top 2

16. Belfast – 3.6

Job Openings: 11,775

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £21,000

Median Home Value: £157,580

belfast-titanic

15. Ipswich – 3.6

Job Openings: 11,446

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £24,985

Median Home Value: £264,105

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top 3

14. Birmingham – 3.6

Job Openings: 47,551

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £24,864

Median Home Value: £189,220

birmingham-skyline

13. Nottingham – 3.6

Job Openings: 14,698

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £23,500

Median Home Value: £191,555

nottingham-market-square

12. Derby – 3.6

Job Openings: 12,807

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £25,000

Median Home Value: £196,993

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top 4

11. Coventry – 3.6

Job Openings: 14,891

Job Satisfaction: 3.2

Median Base Salary: £27,000

Median Home Value: £197,170

coventry-uk

10. Oxford – 3.6

Job Openings: 18,649

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £30,000

Median Home Value: £489,037

oxford-uk

9. Bolton – 3.7

Job Openings: 11,233

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £21,000

Median Home Value: £159,690

bolton-lancashire

8. Milton Keynes – 3.7

Job Openings: 16,164

Job Satisfaction: 3.5

Median Base Salary: £28,000

Median Home Value: £301,938

milton-keynes-mk

7. Leeds – 3.8

Job Openings: 41,097

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £24,000

Median Home Value: £206,143

leeds-city-centre

6. Reading – 3.8

Job Openings: 25,305

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £35,000

Median Home Value: £422,120

reading-oracle

5. Stoke-on-Trent – 3.9

Job Openings: 16,381

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £21,000

Median Home Value: £143,328

One of the cheapest cities on this list when it comes to house prices, Stoke-on-Trent is well-connected with Manchester and Birmingham both less than an hour away by train. The city is one of 11 to have lodged a bid to be named 2021’s UK City of Culture.

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top 5

4. Swindon – 3.9

Job Openings: 15,307

Job Satisfaction: 3.4

Median Base Salary: £31,000

Median Home Value: £248,514

Less than an hour away from Reading and Bristol, and about an hour’s train ride from London, Swindon is brilliantly connected. Relatively high wages and low unemployment also work in its favour. 

swindon-brunel-building

3. Cambridge – 4.0

Job Openings: 21,645

Job Satisfaction: 3.5

Median Base Salary: £31,225

Median Home Value: £455,299

Commuting distance from London and home to a number of growing tech businesses, Cambridge holds firm in the top three. With a strong pool of university graduates to choose from, it’s no big surprise that jobs are widespread and lead to greater satisfaction than in many other cities and towns on the list.

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top 6

2. Manchester – 4.0

Job Openings: 41,555

Job Satisfaction: 3.5

Median Base Salary: £23,998

Median Home Value: £177,263

Remarkably affordable and with plenty of companies setting up shop, Manchester is the highest-ranked of the UK’s major cities. Nationwide, only London has a faster-growing economy, while Birmingham is the only city in the top 25 with more job openings.

manchester-city-centre

1. Slough – 4.2

Job Openings: 26,387

Job Satisfaction: 3.3

Median Base Salary: £35,000

Median Home Value: £390,654

A surprise number one, for sure, but don’t let David Brent cloud your judgement. Unemployment is low, at just 1.4%, and the average wage is high by UK standards, while it is within commuting distance of London and easily accessible via Heathrow Airport and several motorways.

The best places to work in the UK have been revealed and you won't believe which one is top 7

(Images: BBC/iStock)