London the worst UK region for job security

Workers in the capital are most at risk of being made redundant this year, a new survey finds.

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Helena Young
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Workers based in London are most likely to lose their jobs this year, as official redundancy data suggests the capital has the worst attrition rate in the UK.

Personal financial experts, Wealth of Geeks, analysed data from the Office for National Statistics. According to their results, London experienced 52,173 potential redundancies between January and October 2023, equating to 0.5% of all workers based in the city.

As employees increasingly prioritise job security, the results throw cold water on the long-held belief that the UK capital is the best place to find a job this year.

How likely are you to lose your job this year?

Wealth of Geeks also conducted a regional breakdown of its findings. The results show that, after London, employees in Yorkshire and The Humber are the second most at risk of redundancy.

In this region, there were 25,227 potential redundancies from January to October 2023, equating to 0.46% of all workers in the area.

The South West is the safest region to be employed in. This time last year, 0.2% of employees were let go, the lowest attrition rate of any region.

RankRegionRedundancy rate per 100,000 people
2.Yorkshire and The Humber0.46%
3.East Midlands0.34%
4.East of England0.32%
5.West Midlands0.30%
7.North East0.24%
9.South East0.22%
10.North West0.21%
11.South West0.20%

Tech layoffs

Another reason for London’s sky-high redundancy rate is its status as tech capital of the world. Also known as London’s own Silicon Valley, Old Street roundabout, is home to one of the UK’s largest clusters of tech companies.

Tech layoffs have been a persistent presence in news headlines as companies like X, Google, and Meta fired thousands of employees to save money.

After making hundreds of global sales staff redundant earlier this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly wrote in an internal memo that there’ll be more “role eliminations” in 2024.

Remote jobs most secure overall

The Wealth of Geeks research also found that next month could see the biggest wave of layoffs so far this year. February 2023 was the most common month for redundancies with 12,706 HR1 forms being handed out during this period.

For those looking for a way to avoid a sacking in the weeks ahead, moving into a role with flexible working might prove the best option.

Startups’ recent survey of small businesses revealed a stark difference in layoff rates. 38% of fully in-office firms cut jobs last year, compared to 16% of remote teams. This suggests that remote work provides greater job security.

London is one of the most expensive regions for renting. Even cheap coworking spaces can introduce a significant overhead. Startups’ findings suggest that the money saved from ditching the office altogether will provide the all-important wriggle room for staffing costs.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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