Study reveals best places in UK for workers and job-seekers in 2024

Payroll Prices has unveiled its Employee Location Index 2024, a study ranking 80 UK towns and cities based on critical factors affecting workers and job-seekers.

The report provides valuable insights into where employees can find the best balance of job opportunities, living conditions and overall wellbeing.

On the index, Canterbury ranks 7th and Tunbridge Wells ranks 15th, which is good news for Kent.

Key findings from the report

London ranks last: Despite offering the highest median salary, London’s steep living costs and long commute times significantly impact its overall ranking, placing it last among UK cities

Chester tops the list: Chester emerges as the best city for workers and job-seekers, thanks to its balanced mix of competitive salaries, short commute times, and high happiness and life satisfaction scores

Affordable living in Dudley and Barnsley: These cities are highlighted for their low rent costs relative to median salaries, making them attractive for workers seeking to maximise their disposable income

Work-life balance in smaller cities: Cities like Tunbridge Wells, Stirling and Preston excel in providing a good balance of reasonable working hours and short commute times, contributing to higher happiness and life satisfaction

Vibrant job markets: Wigan and Dudley lead with the highest number of job vacancies per 10,000 people, indicating robust local economies

High overall contentment: Chelmsford and Cheltenham score high in happiness and life satisfaction, suggesting strong community wellbeing

Short commute times: Locations such as Milton Keynes and Darlington offer some of the shortest median commute times, enhancing work-life balance

Economic opportunity and quality of life: The North West of England, with cities like Chester and Warrington, consistently ranks high due to a combination of economic vitality and high quality of life

Top 20 locations for UK employees

1. Chester

2. Dudley

3. Warrington

4. Stafford

5. Preston

6. Coventry

7. Canterbury

8. Southend-on-Sea

9. Sunderland

10. Chelmsford

11. Cheltenham

12. Stirling

13. Blackburn with Darwen

14. Doncaster

15. Tunbridge Wells

16. Wigan

17. Barnsley

18. Stevenage

19. Darlington

20. Wolverhampton

The Employee Location Index 2024 evaluates towns and cities based on seven key factors: median salary, median commute time, median number of hours worked, happiness score, life satisfaction score, number of job vacancies per 10,000 inhabitants, and median rent as a percentage of salary.

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