Whether you’ve been offered an opportunity in a new city, or simply want a change of scenery, there are lots of reasons you might choose to relocate for work. But which major cities offer the greatest job opportunities and salary potential?
With remote working now commonplace across a swathe of industries, from teaching to tech, it’s easier than ever to move to a new city to take up a new job - or simply relocate your old one.
If you're thinking of relocating, make sure to compare mortgages before buying a new home to ensure you get the best deal.
However, your career prospects aren’t entirely divorced from where you live and not everyone can work remotely all the time.
So, when taking into account the number of jobs available and average earnings, which are the best major cities to consider relocating to?
The place with the most job opportunities per person is Reading, where there are currently just under 2,500 job listings per 100,000 people.
Reading is one of the largest towns in the UK yet to be granted city status, and its proximity to London makes it a popular place for commuters to live.
Arguably the second biggest city in England, Manchester, takes second place overall for job listings. While Manchester is much bigger than Reading, the number of jobs on offer is higher still, with just under 2,400 per 100,000 people.
Manchester is a major Northern city and has seen large amounts of investment since the turn of the millennium.
This has brought with it a large growth in the number of job opportunities as firms relocate or choose it to start up in, and attracted lots of people to the city in recent years.
Another of the country’s major cities comes in third place, with Bristol having 2,370 job openings per 100,000 people.
Bristol’s economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, with its city-centre docklands area being regenerated and becoming a hub for businesses.
|Rank||City||County||Population||Job listings on Indeed||Listings per 100,000 people|
|3||Bristol||City of Bristol||465,866||11,041||2,370|
|7||Newcastle upon Tyne||Tyne and Wear||306,824||4,180||1,362|
|9||Edinburgh||City of Edinburgh||527,620||6,472||1,227|
In the US, the city that has the most current job openings per person is Boston, with 6,682 per 100,000 people.
Boston has a rich history, but it remains a very important city today. Many people move here to work in the realm of scientific research, with lots of leading colleges and universities in the wider Boston area.
The city is also considered to be a global pioneer for innovation and entrepreneurship, with a large number of startups.
In second place is the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, with over 6,200 job listings per 100,000 people.
As the home of the US government, many people move to DC to work in the public sector. It’s estimated that roughly a quarter of employees in the city work for a federal government agency.
The city with the third-highest proportion of job openings is Seattle, Washington, with 5,791 per 100,000 people.
Since the 1980s, Seattle has become a major technology centre, with Microsoft and Amazon both being founded here.
This boom had led to thousands moving here for work, with the population increasing by almost 50,000 during the 1990s.
|Rank||City||State||Population||Job listings on Indeed||Listings per 100,000 people|
|2||Washington, DC||District of Columbia||689,545||42,973||6,232|
When we look at the opportunities across ten different industries, we once again see that Reading has the most openings in six of these industries.
Manchester was the top city for two industries, marketing and HR, having seen a big increase in people moving for work in these industries recently.
Norwich was another city that was a large concentration of jobs in a couple of industries, healthcare and nursing.
|Industry||Town/city||Job listings on Indeed||Listings per 100,000 people|
When it comes to average salaries, it’s probably not surprising to see that London is the highest-earning city for four out of ten industries.
However, there were a number of industries where the highest-earning city was outside the capital.
Three of these were in Aberdeen, which is the highest-earning city for marketing, teaching and engineering, and well known for its seaport and oil industry.
In the USA, Boston is the city with the most job listings for a number of industries, including accountancy, HR, marketing and nursing.
While Boston is a notable city historically, it remains an important one to this day, considered to be a global pioneer for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Other cities that had the most openings include Las Vegas for customer service, with many being employed by the city’s casinos and hotels.
Austin was the city with the highest number of engineering vacancies. A steady stream of graduates from the engineering programs at the University of Texas at Austin helps to fuel the local engineering sector here.
|Industry||City||Job listings on Indeed||Listings per 100,000 people|
|Customer service||Las Vegas||1,755||273|
When it comes to earnings in different sectors across the USA, there’s a clear geographic trend, with all of the top-earning cities being found in California.
San Jose was the top-earning city for six of these industries, with the city known for being one of the country’s most affluent.
It’s also the home of Silicon Valley, with thousands moving there to work for high tech companies such as eBay, Cisco Systems, PayPal and more.
San Francisco and Los Angeles are the other two cities that offered the best wages in certain industries.
San Francisco is the best city for construction, engineering and healthcare, while LA came out best for marketing salaries.
|Customer service||San Jose||48,731|
There’s a lot to remember when moving house and it can be easy to forget things amongst the excitement and stress.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are some things that you might need to do when moving:
Confirm the moving date in writing
Contact your utility providers
Arrange for a removal service (if required)
Give your landlord notice if you’re renting
Update your address details with places such as your doctor, dentist, bank etc.
Take meter readings
When you move, you’ll need to inform your local council, who will send a final bill for your old address. They will also send a new annual bill for your new address.
If you’re staying within the same local authority area, then you should be able to update your direct debit details and let the council know your new address. If you are moving to a new local authority, make sure to cancel your Council Tax when moving house so you don't end up paying unnecessarily. You can use GOV.UK to find your new council and set up a new Council Tax account.
Let the council know that you’re moving a month before your moving date to ensure you don’t pay tax while not living at the property.
There’s no set timescale for moving house once you’ve had an offer accepted. Each move has its own unique circumstances and challenges, with some going much smoother than others.
As a rough idea, once your offer has been accepted, it usually takes around six weeks before the deal is completed and you’re moved in. However, if you need to find a buyer for your own property then this can obviously take longer.
Packing up all of your possessions is no easy feat, so how can you make it all run a little bit smoother?
Firstly, make sure to start early with the rooms and things that you use the least often, to minimise disruption to your daily life.
It’s also a prime opportunity to declutter and get rid of some of the things that you don’t need or donate them to charity.
Another invaluable tip is to roll your clothes rather than folding them, which helps to save space and is much easier to do.
When moving house, there are a lot of people that you need to inform. As well as your friends and family, here are a few people and organisations that you should inform about the move (again, this list isn’t exhaustive!):
Your council’s tax office
Landline phone provider
Looking at the top 30 most populated towns and cities in both the UK and US, the number of job listings and average salaries were sourced, both overall and for ten common industries.
The number of listings currently on Indeed (using just the exact location of each city). The UK version of Indeed was used for UK cities and the US version of the site for the US data, with data correct as of March 29th, 2022.
Sourced from Glassdoor, with data correct as of March 29th, 2022.
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James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC.
James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.