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Britain’s best cities for jobs

Chances are you enjoy living where you are right now with your friends and family close to hand.  But let’s face it, there are some places that offer more of what you like and offer better career prospects than others. So if you’re on the look-out for a new job then you might want to know what cities in the UK offer the best job prospects.

Many cities are bouncing back from the recession, including some of those hardest hit by job losses — according to the Centre for Cities annual index, Cities Outlook 2011. But economic recovery is likely to be unevenly spread across the country this year.

Five cities to watch right now

The Centre for Cities identified five cities that are best placed to help the UK out of the recession. According to the Cities Outlook, these places will be better-insulated from the economic impact of the spending squeeze, and have high potential to create private sector jobs. They have lower vulnerability to public sector job losses and spending cuts, and given the right powers and freedoms could make an even bigger contribution to the national economic recovery.

“Buoyant cities like Leeds and Bristol, which have been fast-growing and have lots of private sector jobs, are best placed to lead the UK’s recovery” said Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities. “It’s time these places had new financial freedoms such as full control over the local business rate, and new powers to raise money.  They could also benefit from having London-style mayors.”

Following are the five cities with the best chances to drive economic recovery and the best employment prospects right now:

Aberdeen is one of the cities with a high level of employment, abundance of skilled workers, and an increase in the average weekly earnings. Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bob Collier told that they have long known about the potential of Aberdeen and that the necessary support from the government will help cities such as Aberdeen make an even bigger contribution to the country’s economic recovery.

Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes showed an employment rate of 72.5% between July 2009 and June 2010 and the claimant count was only 3.5%. The city particularly benefits from the growth of the UK Solar sector. According to there are already 18 German-based solar companies who have set up their operations in the UK, capitalizing on the Feed-In-Tariff introduced in April last year. This is set to grow further as skills, experience and technology are brought in from a maturing German solar market with Milton Keynes shaping up to be a solar ‘centre of excellence’.

Reading’s claimant count is running at just 2.2 per cent and it faces only 1.1 per cent job losses in the public sector. The city has a strong emphasis on services and was not so hard hit by the severe job cuts of 10.8 percent in the manufacturing sector between Q1 2008 and Q3 2009 and so only shed 1.3 percent of its workforce during the recession. Reading was also awarded the accolade of ‘best European city for infrastructure’ (out of 232) in the Financial Times’ Foreign Direct Investment awards for 2010.

The UK manufacturing sector is expected to continue to grow as overseas demand for British-made goods increases, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Being the UK’s second largest production centre outside London, Leeds will benefit from this increase. At the same time, Leeds is not merely dependent on one sector, also being a leading centre for financial and business services. According to the Cities Outlook, Leeds is the major city with the second highest employment rate (70.4 percent).

Bristol remains the major city with the highest employment rate, at 74.2 percent. Of the major cities only Bristol has an employment rate above the Great Britain average of 70.4 percent. This is unsurprising, considering Bristol’s overall economic performance and the fact that Bristol was the major city with the highest private sector jobs growth between 1998 and 2008.

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