Mapping the UK’s Employment Landscape

With the cost of living, impact of covid changing workplace expectations and rapidly evolving technology such as AI, it is becoming crucial to understand which areas in the UK offer the highest employability rates. This insight not only helps job seekers but also businesses so they can strategize their recruitment and expansion plans.

The Significance of Employability Rates

Employability rates are a key indicator of a region’s economic health and job market dynamics. High employability rates often correlate with robust local economies, thriving industries, and vibrant communities. Conversely, areas with lower employability rates may face economic challenges, needing targeted interventions to stimulate job creation and economic growth. Understanding these patterns is essential for making informed decisions, whether you are a job seeker looking for new opportunities or a business aiming to tap into regions with the best talent pools.

The latest Employability Report by Premier Platforms and Online Marketing Surgery provides a comprehensive analysis of employability rates across the UK, shedding light on the top-performing regions as well as those struggling to keep pace.

Top 5 Areas With The Highest Employability Rate

1. Orkney Islands, Scotland – 89.8%

Located off the northeastern coast of Scotland, boast the highest employability rate in the UK at 89.8%. This impressive figure can be attributed to the islands’ diverse economy, which includes thriving sectors such as renewable energy, tourism, agriculture, and fisheries. The Orkney Islands have invested significantly in harnessing wind and tidal energy, creating numerous job opportunities in this sustainable industry. Additionally, the strong sense of community and high quality of life contribute to low unemployment rates and a stable local economy.

2. South Holland, Lincolnshire – 89.2%

South Holland in Lincolnshire, with an employability rate of 89.2%, is another top performer. The district’s economy is largely driven by agriculture, given its fertile lands and favourable climate. South Holland is known for its extensive horticultural industry, including the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, and bulbs. The presence of food processing and packaging industries also bolsters employment opportunities. Furthermore, the local government’s focus on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through various business development programs has helped maintain a high employability rate.

3. Shetland Islands, Scotland – 89.1%

The Shetland Islands, located in the Northern Isles of Scotland, have an employability rate of 89.1%. Similar to the Orkney Islands, the Shetland Islands benefit from a strong renewable energy sector, particularly wind and marine energy projects. The islands’ economy is also supported by fishing, aquaculture, and agriculture. Additionally, the Shetland Islands have a vibrant tourism sector, attracting visitors with their unique landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage. Investments in infrastructure and community development have further strengthened the local job market.

4. Ryedale, North Yorkshire – 88.7%

Ryedale, in North Yorkshire, has an employability rate of 88.7%. The district’s economy is diverse, with key industries including agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Ryedale’s picturesque landscapes and historic sites draw tourists, providing numerous employment opportunities in hospitality and related services. The manufacturing sector is bolstered by several prominent companies specialising in engineering, food production, and textiles. Local initiatives to support rural businesses and promote entrepreneurship have also contributed to Ryedale’s strong employability rate.

5. Castle Point, Essex – 88.7%

Castle Point, located in Essex, shares an employability rate of 88.7% with Ryedale. This area benefits from its proximity to London, offering residents access to a wide range of employment opportunities in the capital while maintaining a lower cost of living. Key sectors in Castle Point include retail, healthcare, and construction. The local economy is also supported by a number of small businesses and startups. Additionally, efforts to improve transportation infrastructure and connectivity have enhanced job accessibility for residents.

Top 20 Areas With The Highest Employability Rate

Areas County/Country Employability rate /100%
Orkney Islands Scotland 89.8
South Holland Lincolnshire 89.2
Shetland Islands Scotland 89.1
Ryedale North Yorkshire 88.7
Castle Point Essex 88.7
Blaby Leicestershire 88.3
Reigate and Banstead Surrey 88.2
Stroud Gloucestershire 88
Mole Valley Surrey 87.7
Eastleigh Hampshire 87.6
Bromsgrove Worcestershire 87.5
Waverley Surrey 87.4
Eden Cumbria 86.6
East Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire 86.6
St Albans London 86.5
Fareham Hampshire 86.3
Newcastle-under-Lyme Staffordshire 86
Tamworth Staffordshire 85.7
West Oxfordshire Oxfordshire 85.7
Tunbridge Wells Kent 85.6

Top 20 Areas With The Lowest Employability Rate

Areas County/Country Employability rate /100%
Brent London 59.5
Pendle Lancashire 59.8
Enfield London 60.9
South Ayrshire Scotland 61.4
Dundee City Scotland 62.3
South Tyneside Tyne and Wear 62.4
Ashfield Nottinghamshire 62.6
Canterbury Kent 63
Kensington and Chelsea London 63.4
Nottingham Nottinghamshire 64
Wyre Lancashire 64.6
Hillingdon London 64.8
Ashford Kent 64.8
Belfast Northern Ireland 65.5
Leicester Leicestershire 65.5
Barnet London 65.5
Clackmannanshire Scotland 65.9
Richmondshire North Yorkshire 66.2
Great Yarmouth Norfolk 66.2
Chichester West Sussex 66.2



We used data from the Office for National Statistics, where we were able to select different areas in the UK and find it’s employability rate for 16-64 year olds from 10/2022 – 09/2023.

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