Findings from jobsite Indeed show that London is the most sought-after location in Europe for international tech jobseekers. In the UK, tech jobs are almost three times more likely to attract interest from international job seekers than careers in other sectors. Share of foreign searches for all roles is 3.4 percent, rising to 8.2 percent for tech jobs.
However, whilst one in three tech roles in the UK are currently located in London, other cities such as Cambridge and Leeds now have a proportionately greater number of tech jobs than London, with Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham not far behind. In Cambridge, 14 percent of all jobs advertised are tech roles, in Leeds it’s nine percent, whereas in London it’s only seven percent.
As the UK’s digital economy grows, Indeed data show that highly skilled tech workers are increasingly flocking to smaller UK cities to find work. Demonstrated by increased competition for roles and an uptake in hires, the “talent gap” (ratio of job seeker interest to job postings), is closing more quickly in Cambridge and Manchester than in London, suggesting faster growth of tech hubs outside of the capital.
The composition of the most searched for tech jobs suggest a diverse talent mix looking for tech opportunities across UK cities. While London and Cambridge appear to be the most preferred destination for data scientists, web developers appear to be attracted to Manchester and Leeds.
The top five most common tech job searches in the UK are:
- Data Analyst
- Web Engineer/ Developer
- Network Engineer
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
Other findings from the research include:
- Jobseekers outside the UK are 3.4 times more likely to search for financial analyst roles here than those within the UK, and 5.5 times more likely to be looking for software jobs
- Nearly one in three UK tech jobs are currently located in London (27% London, 73% the rest of the UK)
- Cambridge and Leeds already have a proportionately greater number of tech jobs than London, when we control for size, with Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham not far behind. (Cambridge: 14% of jobs advertised are tech roles, Leeds: 9%, London: 7%)
- Tech salaries in Cambridge and Leeds are catching up to London (The average ICT wage in London is £49,680; Cambridge is £45,360, Leeds is £42,120)
“Understanding where the future opportunities in tech are will be crucial for both employees and jobseekers,” says Tara Sinclair, Chief Economist at Indeed and Associate Professor at George Washington University. “As London house prices continue to rise and the pressure on earnings increases, jobseekers might eventually find it less appealing to work and live in London, and smaller tech centres will become more competitive. These smaller cities often offer better opportunities in terms of working culture and in turn attracting the next generation of employees that will fuel the digital economy.”
Sinclair, who gave an exclusive interview to HRreview earlier this year in which she gave her views on a wide range of economic issues affecting the global skills market, has used the research data in a full economic report on the tech economy in the UK and Europe.
“Employers inside and outside of London should consider offering remote or flexible work options that enable people to commute to work from somewhere else to attract highly skilled jobseekers wherever they may choose to live,” she continued. “They should also consider how they can reach more candidates with the right skills across the country. Talent drives the desire for flexibility, and it is an important tool for companies looking to attract talent and bring people with new skills into the market.”
For the UK as a whole, in the context of an increasingly globalised tech market attracting highly skilled workers is under threat. The typical java developer is paid 47 percent more on average in the US than in the UK, and thicker tech labour markets and higher density of tech firms in the US allow tech workers in US cities to enjoy much higher wages compared to London. If London is to retain its title as a leading tech hub for Europe, it will need to strive for higher levels of competition for talent, and better job/employee matches.”