Top 10 European cities where citizens believe it is easy to find a good job


Across Europe, cities are innovating to boost job opportunities, tapping into the creative energies of local governments and businesses to forge vibrant, employment-rich urban landscapes. These efforts, often unseen, work tirelessly behind the scenes to match job seekers with fulfilling careers, fostering environments where businesses can thrive and citizens can find work that not only pays the bills but fulfills a sense of purpose and community contribution.

In a continent as diverse as Europe, the strategies for job creation vary as widely as the cultures themselves—from tech hubs in the North that attract global IT talent, to revitalized industrial sectors in the East that blend tradition with modern innovation. Yet, what unites these cities is a shared commitment to not just creating jobs, but creating the right kind of jobs—those that promise sustainability, equity, and growth for the future.

As we spotlight the top ten cities in Europe where citizens feel most optimistic about their job prospects, as recorded in the Survey on the Quality of Life in European Cities conducted by the European Commission, we delve into the unique initiatives that have set these urban areas apart. These cities are not just places to work; they are beacons of hope and innovation, demonstrating the power of local government to positively shape the job market and, by extension, the lives of their citizens.

(Source: Survey on the Quality of Life in European Cities, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, 2023)

The Czech capital of Prague tops the list, with 75% of respondents in the survey agreeing or strongly agreeing that it is easy to find a job in their city. Prague is advancing its commitment to a circular economy as part of its environmental and economic strategy. The city’s efforts include waste reduction, support for the reuse of materials, and the construction of a biogas plant to convert bio-waste into biogas and organic fertilizers, significantly contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the creation of new business opportunities and jobs.

Second on the list is Bratislava, which is also committed to fostering a dynamic and inclusive job market. Under the city’s Mayor Matúš Vallo, as many as 66.8% of respondents agree that it is easy to find a job in the city.

(CREIC in Cluj-Napoca)

Third is Romania’s Cluj-Napoca, which is focused on preparing for the future labor market with its “Cluj Future of Work” project, funded by the EU Urban Innovative Actions programme. THe project begins with an investment phase, creating a hub for cultural and creative industries at CREIC, which will consist of three laboratories equipped with the latest technologies in animation, design, and automation, as well as a co-working space. In the EC survey, 63.5% of Cluj-Napoca residents said they think it is easy to find a good job in the city.

The German industrial powerhouse of Munich is fourth in the list, with 62.9% of people believing they can easily find a good job there. Munich’s employment initiatives include the Münchner Beschäftigungs- und Qualifizierungsprogramm (MBQ), which integrates people into the labor market and develops skills, and “Werkstadt München”, a series of urban development projects that promote innovation and progress.

(Oslo Science Park, Foto: Forskningsparken)

The fifth is Norway’s Oslo, where 61.8% of citizens believe it is easy to find a good job. The city is supporting private sector initiatives, cooperating with Norwegian employers’ association NHO, and believing that increased public-private collaboration can lead to better job creation outcomes.

The Bulgarian capital of Sofia is in sixth place. As many as 61.6% of the city’s residents believe finding a good job there is easy. Sofia’s digital transformation strategy focuses on leveraging high technology for sustainable economic growth, while the “Small Grants Scheme for Job Creation” supports local development and poverty reduction by funding activities that create jobs and include vulnerable groups. These initiatives are part of a broader effort to enhance Sofia’s digital maturity and economic resilience.

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is in seventh place, with 61.2% of residents replying they believe it is easy to find a good job in the city. In Warsaw, the “Entrepreneurial Warsaw” program for 2021-2025 aims to create favorable conditions for the development of new and existing businesses, particularly in the small and medium enterprise sector. The program includes improving access to business information and advisory services, conditions for business incubation and networking, and promoting investment areas.

Eighth place in the list is taken by Sweden’s Stockholm, where 58.4% of citizens believe it is easy to find a good job in the city. The city’s labor market benefits from the “Integrationspakten” initiative, a collaborative network where employers from the private sector, civil society, and public organizations work together to find solutions that benefit integration and job creation.

(Co-working offices in Hamburg, Foto: EV Work Edition)

Ninth place goes to Hamburg, in which 58% of citizens replied it is easy to find a good job. In Hamburg, initiatives for job creation and local economic development focus on creating more and better-qualified positions to boost growth, reduce poverty, and improve social cohesion. The city employs strategies that stimulate the supply and demand of skilled workers, coordinate measures for employment, training, and economic development, and support lifelong skill development.

Belgium’s Antwerp rounds off the list, with 56.6% of its citizens believing they can find a good job in the city. In Antwerp, the city’s employment policy focuses on matching entrepreneurs with (vulnerable) job seekers and tapping into the city’s talent pool. The city supports businesses in developing strong and inclusive personnel policies and collaborates with professional organizations to fill vacancies. Additionally, Antwerp has renewed a partnership with the Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training (VDAB) to increase the employment rate to 70% by 2025.

The collective endeavors of European cities like Prague, Bratislava, and Cluj-Napoca showcase a vibrant tapestry of initiatives aimed at job creation and business encouragement. Each city, with its unique approach—from circular economies to fostering digital transformations and enhancing educational frameworks—contributes to a broader narrative of innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. These cities not only present a blueprint for economic growth and environmental stewardship but also stand as clear examples, signaling a future where job opportunities are plentiful and accessible to all.