SWINDON has fallen from grace as the easiest place to find a job in the UK, according to research by the jobsite Adzuna.

By comparing vacancies, salaries, and job competition the job search engine's Job Market Report reveals Swindon is now third, behind Cambridge and Oxford, which have 25 and 20 jobs per job seeker respectively.

The ratio of jobseekers to vacancies in Swindon is 0.051, which still puts it ahead of Reading, Southampton, Manchester, and Bristol.

The upside of the tough hiring conditions for employers is that jobseekers in the top three can expect better pay.

Salaries advertised in Cambridge averaged £38,387 in February, Oxford opportunities offered £36,177 and Swindon roles advertised came out on top at £41,454, all significantly above the UK average of £35,058.

Cambridge leads the way in terms of total opportunities for jobseekers offering 9,530 vacancies in February, nearly double Oxford’s 4,886. Meanwhile, Swindon saw 4,476 roles on offer.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “Choosing where to start your job search can have a huge impact on both how easy it is to get a job and your potential pay-packet. The sizeable salaries on offer in Cambridge are £8.5k larger than in those at the bottom, such as Hull.

"And with up to 25 times more jobs on offer than people to fill them, job hunters in these top areas are in a great position to negotiate on pay, perks and holiday packages."

The surge from the twin university cities was explained by a tech boom in the IT sector, with around 1,320 vacancies in Cambridge and 678 vacancies in Oxford.

Andrew added: “Drilling into the detail, innovation and new technologies are driving this divide in jobseeker competition.

"The last few years have seen an explosion of tech jobs created in cities like Cambridge and Oxford, as well as steady growth along the M4 corridor in tech stalwarts Swindon and Reading.

"The general trend is one of improvement across the whole of the UK, with employment levels at record highs, it’s just that cities like Cambridge and Oxford have grown at a far faster rate than the rest.”