Edinburgh jobs market

Living in Edinburgh is a chance for you to get up close and personal with the city’s rich culture and history – from the medieval Old Town to the graceful 18th century New Town, the local arts festivals, and the splendid Edinburgh Castle. While being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Auld Reekie – as the Scottish capital is popularly known – it is also a great place to experience student life or to start a new career.
Edinburgh is the second most liveable city in the UK, after London, in terms of political stability, crime rates, recreational facilities, house prices and weather conditions, according to the latest Quality of Living Rankings by Mercer. The city also has the strongest economy in the UK, outside London, thanks to its stable banking, finance, tourism, and service sectors. It is not hard to see why students and job seekers from around the country flock to the city for a suitable job opportunity.

Job Opportunity

The job market in Edinburgh stands strong and has a bullish outlook. The city, being the powerhouse of the Scottish economy, creates maximum jobs in Scotland. According to the latest ONS statistics, Scotland’s employment rate, at 74.8 percent, is above the UK average of 74.1 percent. Edinburgh’s graduate success rate, at 90 percent, is also higher than the UK average of 68 percent and the Scotland average of 73 percent. The City of Edinburgh Council and its partners are working towards improving the employment scene of the city. They have plans to create around 8,000 new jobs and to support around 5000 people into work or learning by 2018. Whether you are an aspiring teacher, researcher, manager, lawyer, doctor or engineer; you should not have much difficulty finding a suitable job in Edinburgh.

Key Industries

Edinburgh is the second most prosperous city in the UK, after London. The city has a diversified economy, mainly driven by tourism, education, finance, ICT, and retail. Top employers include NHS Lothian, University of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The recent years have seen remarkable growth in the city’s software and technology sectors as well. Here’s a close look at the city’s key job generating sectors.


The tourism sector employs around 30,000 people in Edinburgh. While being a popular destination for family tourists, Edinburgh is also a favourite conference destination for business travellers. The Edinburgh 2020 Tourism Strategy by Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) is working towards increasing the number of visitors to Edinburgh by one third – from 3.27 million to 4.39 million per year, by 2020. This could create 4000 new jobs in the city by that period, according to a recent report.

Services Sector

Edinburgh has been a major centre for banking and financial services in Scotland for more than 300 years. Many leading banks, including the Bank of Scotland and The Royal Bank of Scotland are headquartered in Edinburgh. The latter has more than 700 branches throughout England and Wales. Some acclaimed insurance companies, including Scottish Widows and Standard Life are operational in the city. You can also find a number of law firms in Edinburgh. However, if you are planning to practice law in Scotland, you should have a thorough knowledge of the legal system in Scotland and may even need a special degree. Many of the city’s legal, insurance, and financial services companies are located close to the international airport at the recently established Edinburgh Park. Some notable companies that have offices in this business park include Fujitsu, Agilent Technologies, and the British Telecom.

Software and Technology

Software development and digital marketing companies abound in the city, thanks to easy availability of a ready talent pool from the universities in Edinburgh. At present, there are around 150 software and technology companies in Edinburgh. These include Edinburgh-based Fanduel, and acclaimed travel company Skyscanner. Many leading and established tech companies, including Microsoft and Amazon have started operations in the city as well.

There is no lack of employment opportunity in the city for the right candidates. Whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, be sure to keep a tab on the jobs in Edinburgh.
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