Birmingham is the UK’s second-largest city and has the strongest professional sector outside of the capital. With around 500,000 people in employment – 257,000 of which are working in managerial, directorial, professional or associate professional occupations – the professional sector is by far the biggest demographic in the second city, meaning there are plenty of Birmingham job opportunities to go around.
So what is driving the Birmingham jobs market? And why are the number of Birmingham job opportunities increasing every day? Below are 9 reasons why the Birmingham jobs market is thriving and how you can find a job in Birmingham.
Why is Birmingham’s jobs market growing rapidly?
Below is a breakdown of the 9 reasons directly helping the Birmingham jobs market to thrive:
Based on our research across the UK finance and accountancy sector, salaries are rising faster than ever before.
In our 2023 Salary Guide, data suggests that on average, candidates who secured new roles in 2022 are being paid 16.6% more than they were for a similar role in 2020. This is despite the ‘after-effects’ of the pandemic that many hiring managers feared.
These salary hikes are the result of an increasing candidate shortage – there are too many vacancies compared to demand for Birmingham job opportunities.
This is particularly true across the professional services sector and in finance, where part-time and newly qualified salaries have increased significantly.
In 2018, a newly-qualified accountant may have earned a salary of £30,000 but we’re now seeing those same demographics earning around £45,000 – a 50% increase. While this isn’t necessarily true as you go higher up the career ladder – a Group Financial Controller has, on average, seen a modest 15% increase – we are seeing better benefits packages for these more senior roles.
Birmingham’s position in the Midlands makes it one of the most accessible cities in the country, with plenty of links in and out of the city via road, rail or even tram.
This has opened up Birmingham to a huge amount of demand from workers around the Midlands and beyond, meaning both existing and new businesses in the city can choose from a deeper, more talented pool of candidates. As you’d imagine, with more people vying for job opportunities in Birmingham, this has created a competitive environment that naturally sustains future demand.
Some of the larger companies in Birmingham – such as HSBC – have openly described Birmingham’s central location as a key reason for moving and contributed to a significant boost in average salaries across the city, meaning it’s no surprise that everyone is looking to find a role in Birmingham’s professional sector.
An integral part of Birmingham’s increasing connectivity is High Speed 2 – a rail network that will make travelling between London and Birmingham significantly easier.
While a more likely scenario is that London professionals will use the network to work in London and live in Birmingham, the existence of the rail line itself opens up Birmingham to a whole new wave of potential professionals seeking Birmingham job opportunities.
We’re already seeing HS2 positively impact property around the area, so it’s not a stretch to consider that more businesses looking for a new home may be swayed by the city’s accessibility, further boosting the Birmingham jobs market
Take a look at our vacancies.
Strength of talent
The Birmingham jobs market is thriving because of the talent that exists within the city and surrounding areas. According to Gurjit Jagpal, MD and Head of the Birmingham office at Goldman Sachs, the ‘quality, depth and breadth of Birmingham’s talent pool has exceeded expectations in our first year in the city’.
The cycle of talent attracting business which attracts talent is exceptionally strong in Birmingham and a major catalyst in the ever-increasing number of roles available in the city. As more businesses exclusively choose Birmingham as the location for their head office – following in the footsteps of Goldman Sachs, HSBC and PwC – the professional jobs market will only continue to thrive.
A broad range of sectors
Birmingham boasts a large number of different industries in the city centre alone. The high street – and Bullring – is the home of retail and hospitality, while just a short walk away you’ll find Colmore Row and the business district, the heart of the professional sector.
Digbeth is filled with creative digital media companies and exciting start-ups, while the Jewellery Quarter on the other side of the city core is home to both traditional jewellers and progressive marketing agencies.
All of these businesses co-exist in a relatively small space and represent the sheer breadth of job opportunities in Birmingham.
The population of Birmingham is exceptionally young and growing incredibly fast compared to cities of a similar size. With a median age of 34, it’s lower than both the West Midlands and UK averages.
A major reason for this is that young people have always moved for Birmingham job opportunities specifically but now, the city has the amenities that make the ‘life’ aspect of work-life balance more appealing.
Businesses are increasingly noticing this shift in demographics and offering better-paid job opportunities with more progression to accommodate.
Strong graduate pool
Birmingham has five universities and a student pool of around 80,000, which naturally means it has an incredibly strong graduate pool.
Graduate retention in the city sits at around 41% – the 4th best performer in the country. This is largely because of the graduate programmes and ‘straight-out-of-uni’ career opportunities on offer across the city at major businesses.
This in turn attracts other organisations that want to source young, ambitious talent and contribute to a healthy, growing jobs market.
Browse our 2023 Salary Guide.
A lot of Birmingham’s success can be attributed to the ‘Big City Plan’ and subsequent ‘Our Future City’ project, both of which aim to redevelop key parts of Birmingham and its infrastructure.
The ‘Big City Plan’ alone had a key target of creating 50,000 jobs, which it managed to achieve via transport regeneration and similar projects. Likewise, both plans have directly led to the creation of new mixed-use and commercial spaces ready for leasing or ownership, which is attracting new business.
Developments such as Paradise and Arena represent a shift to the creation of exciting new office spaces filled with amenities, which is more attractive for both employers and employees.
Commonwealth Games 2022
Despite the Commonwealth Games coming to an end last year, the legacy of the games is continuing to impact Birmingham’s jobs market.
Aside from the Legacy Fund, initiatives such as the Jobs and Skills Academy – as well as the repurposing of infrastructure for the games – is driving more career opportunities for those in local communities. The games itself saw a collaborative effort by over 6,500 businesses, which created new connections and partnerships.