The 10 Best Cities for Contract Jobs in 2019 (and 5 of the Worst!)

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Wondering how the IT contracting landscape is shaping up this year? Well, it’s looking pretty good so far! Last year, Forbes released its list of the 10 best places to launch a new digital business, suggesting that these areas will soon be bursting with opportunities for IT contractors with in-demand skills and talents.

These cities are:

1. Sheffield
2. Nottingham
3. Leicester
4. Glasgow
5. Liverpool
6. Leeds
7. Cardiff
8. Birmingham
9. Manchester
10. Edinburgh

So why exactly are these 10 cities becoming top choices for digital businesses and tech startups, and why are they the places to be for IT contractors? Let’s delve a little deeper and take a closer look…

Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Leeds

Together, these 4 cities are forming a new northern tech hub, and it’s one that has the potential to become one of the strongest regional technology hubs in the UK. The north is fast becoming a hotspot for new businesses – and for established businesses looking to expand, who want to move away from the higher business costs incurred when operating in the south, particularly in London. Manchester has also received grants and other funding in an effort to help it become more attractive to entrepreneurs.

Birmingham, Leicester, Edinburgh, Nottingham, and Glasgow

Last year, in a rather unexpected turn of events, it was announced that Birmingham had trumped London to become the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, making it a firm favourite for new business startups who are most likely to experience a tech skills gap, and require contract workers to help them achieve their goals. The city of Leicester only narrowly missed out on making it to the top of the leaderboard, while Edinburgh, Nottingham, and Glasgow were given honourable mentions on the list.


According to the British ‘Skills Gap Map’, Wales is one of the biggest sufferers, with an increasing number of businesses struggling to find the skills they need to help them achieve their goals, and grab growth and development opportunities as they arise. This means that Wales’ main business hubs, such as Newport, Swansea, and especially the country’s capital — Cardiff — may have a wealth of opportunity for contract workers this year. The skills gap is also notable in London, the West Midlands, and in the North West.

Before we move on to the worst cities for contract jobs in 2019, we need to give an honourable mention to London, the 2nd most connected tech hub in the world (Silicon Valley is, of course, the first). While living and working in London certainly divides opinion, it’s global economic importance can’t be denied.

And now on to the worst…

1. Sunderland
2. Hull
3. Middlesbrough
4. Salford
5. Bradford

These 5 UK cities are said to be the worst cities in the UK to find a job, partly due to greater financial stresses experienced by local businesses, and partly due to greater competition in these parts of the country. However, if you’re seeking IT contracts in these cities, don’t panic. It’s not as bad as it seems!

The truth is that, regardless of whether or not a city is considered to be good for contracting, opportunities are available. At a time when technology is advancing at a rapid rate — a rate that’s proving almost impossible for businesses to keep up with — many businesses, in every region, will find that they simply don’t have the right skills on hand to take them to the next level. And that’s where you come in. Use the ContractRecruit online search function to find the right contract job, in the right place.

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