New! Fishbowl by Glassdoor. Dive into authentic, anonymous conversations with a community of professionals like you. Learn More.


The 25 Best UK Towns & Cities To Work In - 2017

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

September 22, 2017

“Where should I move for work?” It’s a question that comes to mind for almost everyone at some point, from recent graduates looking for their first real job to seasoned professionals who’ve grown restless at their current position. It’s tempting to make this decision based on a gut feeling alone — maybe you’ve always dreamed of being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of London, or the powerhouse northern cities of Manchester and Liverpool — but a decision as big as moving shouldn’t be made on a whim. Besides personality fit, it’s critical to think about things like cost of living, job availability and quality of life.

Don’t feel like doing exhaustive research into all of the major towns and cities across the UK to find this information? We don’t blame you. Glassdoor’s made it easier for you by releasing our 25 Best Towns & Cities To Work In, which ranks the top UK towns and cities according to their Glassdoor Town & City Score, a figure determined by weighting three factors equally: how easy it is to get a job, how affordable it is to live there and how satisfied employees are working there.*

Here are the five cities that came out on top:

  1. Slough

Established as a working hub since the 1920s, this town is home to one of the most successful UK economies, with unemployment at just 1.4% and a very high average wage. It also houses one of the largest trading estates in Europe which is said to contain over 400 different companies. Slough is great for those who need to travel for work, with easy access to London, Heathrow Airport, M4, M40 and M25.

See Open Jobs

  1.  Manchester

As well as a rich sporting history, thumping music scene and plethora of shopping options, Manchester is also now home to a thriving creative and digital revolution. It’s the second fastest growing growing economy in the UK (behind London) with a workforce of 1.4 million.

See Open Jobs

  1.  Cambridge

Even before London’s tech scene emerged, Cambridge filled with some of the hottest businesses around. The city has become a tech hotspot due to its proximity to the science and engineering talent coming out of Cambridge University. It’s commuting distance to London and still retains relatively affordable rents.

See Open Jobs

  1.  Swindon

Unemployment levels are consistently some of the lowest across the country. It’s also one of the fastest growing towns in Europe. Swindon’s fantastic road and rail links make it ideal for commuting, giving businesses access to a wider labour force from areas such as Bath, Bristol and Reading, which are all within an hour’s drive or train ride away.

See Open Jobs

  1. Stoke-on-Trent

Situated between Manchester and Birmingham, this city, affectionately known as the Potteries, is steeped in rich industrial history and has claimed the title of ‘World of Ceramics’. Formerly a primarily industrial region, it is now a centre for service industries and distribution centres. If you’re a thrill seeker, then Alton Towers Theme Park is up the road, and the area is even competing for the title of City of Culture 2021.

See Open Jobs

Surprised to not see tech and finance hubs like London or Edinburgh on here? That’s no coincidence.

“With large multinational businesses establishing themselves in Slough, along with high average salaries and close proximity to major transport hubs such as Heathrow Airport, the Berkshire town has now emerged as a prime spot to live and work,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor Chief Economist. “Although people in London are generally satisfied, it has proven not only to be an expensive place to live, but also an ultra-competitive city in which to find a job. The UK’s M4 corridor remains Britain's global tech backbone, with companies such as Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft all along this route. Towns and cities around this area offer pleasant environments, above average salaries and a lower cost of living, meaning an increased quality of life for employees.”

Ready to make your next big move? Check out jobs in the locations above or check out our full list of 25 Best Towns & Cities To Work In!

*Methodology: Glassdoor’s Best UK Towns & Cities to Work In report identifies UK locations with the highest overall Glassdoor Town & City Score, based on a comparison of the 50 most populated UK Towns & Cities. Each region’s Glassdoor City Score, based on a 5-point scale (5.0=best city for a job, 1.0=worst city for a job), is determined by weighting three factors equally: hiring opportunity, cost of living and job satisfaction.


  • Hiring opportunity is determined by the ratio of active job openings to population. (Job openings per Town & City represent active job listings on Glassdoor as of 15/08/17. Population data is according to the 2011 Census, ‘Key Statistics for Built-Up Areas in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland’ published by the ONS on 28 June 2013.
  • Cost of living is determined by the ratio of median annual base salary to median area home value. (Median annual base salary per town and city based on at least 100 salary reports shared by local employees on Glassdoor over the past year (16/08/16-15/08/17). Median home value is according to the Zoopla House Value Index, as of June 2017).
  • Job satisfaction ratings per location is based on at least 80 company reviews shared by local employees on Glassdoor over the past year (16/08/16-15/08/17; Ratings based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied).