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A guide to jobs in Manchester

Published: Thursday 20th August 2015

Manchester can boast some impressive firsts. It is home to the world’s oldest railway station, it’s the birthplace of the Football League, the Trades Union Congress, and the first public lending library opened there in 1853, an event attended by Charles Dickens. In 1917 Ernest Rutherford split the atom at the University of Manchester and the world’s first stored-program computer was built there. The amount of recent development in the city centre and surrounding areas such as Salford’s MediaCityUK is staggering and it’s all great news for Manchester job seekers. In fact, the Greater Manchester region represents the largest functional economic area outside London, with a population of 2.7 million and a value to the economy of £54 billion. So if you’re looking for jobs in Manchester, here’s what you need to know.

Prevalent industries and jobs in Manchester

According to Manchester’s inward investment agency MIDAS, the region’s biggest sectors are financial and professional services (16.6%); manufacturing and engineering (16.1%); health (13%); retail (10.3%); education (8.5% – Manchester has the biggest student population in Europe) and creative and digital (7.7% – Manchester is the second-largest hub for creative and digital companies in the whole of Europe). Add to that hospitality – the city has an ever-growing number of hotels and restaurants to cater for business people and tourists enjoying the burgeoning arts scene plus the sports fans who flock to watch Manchester’s world-famous football teams.

Light rail yellow tram in the city center of Manchester, UK in the evening. Jobs in Manchester, people walking, going to work.

Employment and jobs in Manchester

Greater Manchester’s unemployment rate is 7.5%, higher than the national average of 6.2% and the 7.1% figure for the northwest of England. Of the 3,194,000 people in employment in the region, 431,000 (13.5%) are self-employed, 843,000 (26.4%) are in part-time employment and 168,000 (5.3%) are in temporary jobs. Just over 114,000 people have a second job. Of the people in temporary employment, 36% say they want a permanent job and of those who are employed part-time, that figure is 19.1%.


As well as an excellent road, rail and tram network, the Greater Manchester region benefits from its airport. Just half an hour’s drive from the city centre, Manchester Airport, which opened in 1938, is the country’s largest airport outside London. It generates more than £1 billion for the area’s economy. Greater Manchester will also benefit from the creation of the proposed HS2 rail link to London, aimed at cutting travel times to the capital to just over an hour by 2032.

Cost of living in Manchester

Between June 2014 and June 2015, the average sale price for a detached house in Manchester grew by 3.1 percent from £199,553 to £205,775. The average price for a detached house in London rose from £778,170 to £849,653 in just one year – nearly four times higher than in Manchester. The average house price in the UK is £195,055.

Looking for jobs in Manchester? Then look no further… Check out our Manchester jobs on Zoek!

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