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Is London the best place to work?

Posted: 18 August 2014

London has long been a dominant hub for employers and employees alike, but recent findings show that London could be the best place to work in the UK.

Last week, the July 2014 London Employment Monitor brought us some remarkable statistics to say the least. From June to July 2014 alone, job vacancies have jumped by an impressive 10%, with year-on-year figures revealing a staggering 32% uplift in available roles.

And it’s not just the growth in vacancies that make the country’s capital particularly appealing; figures also show that the average salary increase for those securing new jobs in July 2014 was 20%, compared to 14% in June 2014.

Moreover, in addition to an increase in both salaries and available vacancies, figures released just last week by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills have put London as the number one place for high skilled jobs.  The Q1 2014 labour force survey has found a tremendous 63% of inner London jobs to be classified as high-skill positions.

High-skill jobs were defined as occupations that are classified as levels 1-3 in the standard occupational classification system.

The highest level includes managing director and other senior positions with the medium level, including professional occupations, such as doctors and scientists, where postholders are required to hold degree-level qualifications. The third tier includes associate professional and technical occupations, such as laboratory technician and draughtsman, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Even when the UK was hit by the recession, London fared better than its regional counterparts. Between 2007 and 2011, its economy grew by nearly 12.5% – twice as fast as the rest of the UK.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder the city’s population is expected to exceed 9 million by 2021 – some 0.6 million greater than previous estimates. Last year alone, Greater London’s population grew by 108,000, the highest rise since 1939.

Though for anyone considering joining the apparent boom, the latest figures from the Office  for National Statistics show house prices rose by a record 20.1 per cent in the capital in the year to May. This means the average London home now costs a staggering £492,000 – the sharpest increase since records began in 2002.

And it’s not just house prices for buyers that will make your jaw drop. New research found that the average price of renting a property in Greater London is now an incredible £1,412 a month, compared to £694 in the rest of the UK, fuelling  fears that living in the capital is becoming unaffordable for those with an ordinary income.

So, whilst the dominant market conditions have continued apace, one must consider that affordability has equally become an acute consideration for London’s workforce. If you can tolerate the crowds and the arguably outrageous living costs, then maybe London is the place to work.

Correspondingly, if you are an employer the need to consider having an operation in London to ensure you can attract the highly skilled talent your organisation needs has become more apparent; particularly as the UK suffers a skills shortage.

Want to work in London? View our latest roles here.