By Daniel Hunter

Competition for jobs in London has reached a one year high according to the latest research from job search site Adzuna.co.uk.

Jobseekers should head to cities like Cambridge, Guildford & Aberdeen where there are more vacancies than candidates. For the second year running, Hull is officially the hardest place in the UK to find work.

The top 50 cities in the UK were ranked by comparing the job vacancies in Adzuna’s comprehensive search index of 500,000 live jobs to the number of claimants in each city from the latest ONS data released in January 2013. Adzuna also analysed the distribution of job titles and categories to determine which jobs are in hottest demand in each city.

Best cities to find a job - Aberdeen, Cambridge and Guildford top the list of easiest places to find a job in the UK, with more vacancies than they have unemployed. Aberdeen’s job market is buoyed by the engineering and oil & gas industries, with more than half of open vacancies in the city in these sectors. While southern cities dominate the hotspot list, competition for vacancies in Edinburgh (+20%) and Cardiff (+14%) has decreased in the last 6 months.

Worst cities to find a job - Hull is the hardest city in the UK to find a job with 52 applicants chasing every vacancy. Relative to it’s size, Hull is a rare hotspot for Engineering, Accounting and Nursing jobs. Sunderland, The Wirral, Wolverhampton & Bradford round out the worst 5 areas. Surprisingly, competition for jobs in London is intensifying as there are now 2.4 jobseekers per vacancy, a 6 month high.

Employers are tightening the purse strings - Average salaries in a number of UK cities are falling. Wales (-9%), the West Midlands (-7%) and Eastern England (-6%) have seen the sharpest drops in recent months and advertised salaries in Liverpool dropped 8% to £26,240 p.a. in the last 6 months. On the flip side, wages in towns such as Nottingham, Preston and Stoke-on-Trent have shown resilience in the face of recession, increasing by up to £5,000 p.a. since August.

Sector hot spots - IT and Engineering are the top hiring sectors nationally with over 1.6 million jobs advertised in 2012. The greatest growth in job stock can be seen in the Finance, Sales, and Graduate sectors, boasting nearly 80,000 monthly job opportunities between them. Following the Christmas rush, the number of vacancies for waiting and bar staff has dropped by 20% this month.

Local pockets of strength - Relative to its population, London is the top city in the UK recruiting teachers and chefs, but is bottom of the list for call centre and waiting jobs. Newcastle tops the list for engineering, Guildford leads the way for healthcare recruitment and Edinburgh top of the table for IT jobs. Slough is officially the hardest place in the UK to find a construction or HR role.

“Listing every live vacancy in the UK in our search engine gives us an up to the minute view of how the employment market is changing across the country," Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said.

"Jobseekers, particularly young people and graduates, should be looking to arm themselves with data to help them target their job search in parts of Britain where they have the best possible chance of finding work.”

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