Europe’s easiest and hardest cities to find a job

This new study by SenseHR reveals the hardest city in Europe to find a job – as well as the European cities where vacancies outnumber job seekers.

John Crowley • 
Europe’s easiest and hardest cities to find a job
  • New study reveals that Madrid is the hardest city to find a job in Europe, with nearly 14 job seekers for every job available
  • Paris has more job openings than job seekers despite having the fifth highest unemployment rate in the list. 
  • Luxembourg City and Amsterdam become prime destinations for job seekers in Europe. 

Madrid headlines the list of the hardest cities for finding employment in Europe right now, according to new data from experts at SenseHR. 

SenseHR compiled a list of Europe’s hardest and easiest cities for finding a job using data collected from Glassdoor’s job postings and Statista’s unemployment rate per cities. The ranking was determined according to job posting to job seeker ratio by calculating the number of job postings per job seekers in each major European city dating to July 2023.

These numbers present a strong, broad gauge of which European cities are the easiest and hardest for finding a job right now. Average salary and cost of living, among other things, were also taken into consideration for a better understanding of the job landscape.

Madrid ranks No. 1 on the list of the hardest cities for finding a job. There are 380,000 individuals competing for just over 26,000 jobs, meaning that there are approximately 14 people competing for one position. With the average income being higher than the cost of living, life in Madrid is still pretty affordable.

Helsinki is No. 2, where there are 44,608 job seekers for 7,419 jobs, making this approximately 6 to 1 competition. Although the competition here is tough, much like Madrid, the average salary roughly often outweighs the cost of living for those who manage to secure a job.

Rome takes No. 3, with only 16,345 jobs available for 95,200 job seekers making this approximately 5.8 to 1 competition for one position. The competition here is similarly tough. However, those who secure jobs can look forward to an average salary that is higher than the cost of living.

Berlin secures No. 4 in the list with about 5.5 job seekers for every job opening.This city has a better ratio of job seekers to job openings compared to the top three cities. This makes it a somewhat less competitive city for job seekers.

Copenhagen is No. 5. where 45,576 people compete for 12,770 job openings, with about 3.6 job seekers per job opening. The average salary in Copenhagen is higher than the cost of living.

London ranks No. 6  in the list with 156,020 jobs available for 437,100 job seekers. This makes a nearly 3 to 1 competition per job position. London’s job market is less competitive than Madrid or Helsinki but the high cost of living still makes it tough for job seekers . However, London offers the third highest average salary among the cities analyzed, standing at about €3,755, making it a potentially attractive city for the ones lucky enough to secure a job.

Dublin and Paris are in No. 7 and No. 8.  being  more favorable cities for job seekers. Both cities have more job openings than job seekers, with a ratio of about 0.85 and 0.79 job seekers per job opening, respectively. Paris is particularly interesting. Despite having the fifth highest unemployment rate, there are more job openings than job seekers, creating a paradox.

Finally, Luxembourg City and Amsterdam ranking at  No. 9 and No. 10 emerge as the most favorable cities for job seekers, with only about 0.415 and 0.413 job seekers for every jobopening, respectively. With Luxembourg City boasting the highest average salary among all the cities analysed, it becomes a prime destination for job seekers in Europe.

Findings summed up

CityCost of livingAverage salaryJob openingsUnemployment rate %Job seekersJob Opening to Job Seeker Ratio
Luxembourg City€1,975.00€4,480.4214,755.004.906,125.000.415


Salary and cost of living data was taken from Numbeo, a site that constantly tracks and updates various salary and cost of living metrics from people in cities all over the world.