The Best and Worst Cities in the United States for Job Seekers

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The Best and Worst Cities in the United States for Job Seekers

You want to make sure your next job is perfect, whether as a fresh graduate from college or looking to become a special employee at Amazon. When you are in luck, employers will be going head to head to win you over by offering you varieties of attractive perks such as gym memberships and company cars.

However, there is more to a job then the job. The above situation is possible when you are at the right place or city. You need to consider the job location. This is because finding a job in a place where the unemployment rate is above the national average would be a tough fight.

Similarly, it would make no sense if there are many job opportunities but the income from the job is nothing compared to what they offer in other cities. As reported by Glassdoor, people seeking a job in a new location constitute about 30% of the entire new job applications submitted weekly. We, at Moving Feedback, conduct some research and come up with a list of the best cities and as well as worst cities for job seekers. Read on to see our list and how we arrived at it.

What are the Best and Worst United States Cities for Job Seekers?     

At a glance, here is our list:

Best United States Cities for Job Seekers

  1. Raleigh
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Memphis
  5. Cleveland
  6. Louis
  7. Hartford
  8. Birmingham
  9. Cincinnati
  10. Detroit

Worst United States Cities for Job Seekers

  1. McAllen, TX
  2. Bakersfield, CA
  3. Miami, FL
  4. New Orleans, LA
  5. Fresno, CA
  6. Stockton, CA
  7. Modesto, CA
  8. Tampa, FL
  9. Honolulu, HI
  10. Orlando, FL

Methodology – How we arrived at our list

We use population, average house income, unemployment rates, and average household rent to rank our best and worst cities for job seekers. All the top 10 cities on the list have a median job satisfaction rating between 3.0 and 3.5 out of the available 5.

We also make a comparison of the average home value to determine how much you can accommodate in that city. Although your salary while in New York City might be around six figures, Zillow reported that the average home value in the Big Apple costs $649,026.

The cost of living calculator from Bankrate states that earning an average salary of $55,252 at Raleigh would be similar to earning $138,832 in Manhattan. To enable readability, we rounded all scores to the nearest tenth, which implies that there are some instances where cities are similar. In these situations, the numerical ranking indicates that we studied the non-rounded scores and used it to determine the tiebreaker.

Our considerations are only on cities with a minimum population of at least 500,000. We did not consider other factors like job satisfaction statistics, local entertainment options, and average temperature. Five of the top 10 cities are located in the Midwest, where many cities have been experiencing rapid growth in population and economy in recent years.

What are the Best United States Cities for Job Seekers?

1. Raleigh, NC – $55,252

This city is enjoying its moment. Raleigh currently sits at the 10th position on the list of ten best places to live, as reported by United States News. He has gained quick recognition as an innovation hub with a fascinating growth rate, especially in the technology aspect. In addition to the low cost of living, Raleigh is a good place to be for job seekers.

But that is not all from Raleigh; the city also ranks third on the 2020 list of the best city for dating. As an example of jobs available at Raleigh, the Marketing manager, and service representative earn an average of $60,504 and $26,767 respectively. The highest average home value on the top 10 list is $279,999 and is from Raleigh.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.5
  • Job Openings – 52,412
  • Average Base Salary – $55,252
  • Average Home Value – $279,999
  • Latest Jobs – Software Engineer, Marketing Manager, Customer Service Representative.

2. Pittsburgh, PA – $50,734

Pittsburgh is apparently known always to be sunny. Ranking 50th on the list of the best places to live in the United States, and is home for many things aside from being known as the steel city, with many young and agile people relocating to the city in recent years. Pittsburgh was chosen by SN Traveler as one of the best big cities in the United States. Jobs like Software Developer and Sales Engineer are the hottest in Pittsburgh and earn an average of $69,661 and $76,630 respectively. The average home value in Pittsburgh is $157,367.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings – 48,811
  • Average Base Salary – $50,734
  • Average Home Value – $157,367
  • Latest Jobs – Professor, Software Developer, Sales Engineer

3. Indianapolis, IN – $50,268

Indianapolis is ranked 38th on the United States News’ list, and it has a total population of over 2 million. Although the city is in close proximity to many major universities in the country, the biggest industry in Indianapolis is health care. According to salary.com, jobs like Real Estate Agent – $41.144, Care coordinator – $40,582, and Truck Driver – $59,711 attracts an attached salary. The average home value in the city is $178,836.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings – 45,331
  • Average Base Salary – $50,268
  • Average Home Value – $178,836
  • Latest Jobs – Truck Driver, Care Coordinator, Real Estate Agent

4. Memphis, TN – $48,336

This is the second city from the Southern region to make the top 10. Although the company doesn’t rank high on the list of best places to live in the U.S., it is, however, a great city endowed with arts and culture. The city offers a reasonable low cost of living even though it has a large metro area.

There are great employment opportunities in the health care and education sectors of this city. A random sample of available jobs in Memphis includes Front End Developer – $60,733, Registered Nurse – $54,493, as well as a cashier – $19,105. The average home value in Memphis is $150,648.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings – 23,268
  • Average Base Salary – $48,336
  • Average Home Value – $150,648
  • Latest Jobs – Registered Nurse, Cashier, Front End Developer, etc.

5. Cleveland, OH – $49,719

Cleveland has quite a large number of models, but there are hottest jobs that don’t relate to modeling. Sample of available jobs include Human Resources Business Partners – $77,907, Shift Managers – $23,899, and Mortgage loan Officers – $30,073. Ohio is the second-most populous city with over 37,000 job vacancies currently, with most of them in health care and biomedical industries. The average home value in Cleveland is $183,297.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings – 37,073
  • Average Base Salary – $49,719
  • Average Home Value – $156,590
  • Hot Jobs – Human Resources Business Partner, Shift Manager, Mortgage Loan Officer.

6. Louis, MO – $50,229

With a population of more than 3.8 million in the metro area, St Louis ranked 81st on the list of best places to live in the United States of America. About 60,000 jobs are currently available here and with health care being the fastest growing industry, especially home and personal care jobs.

A personal care assistant in St. Louis makes about $24,893. Sample of available jobs include Legal Assistant – $44,108, Delivery Driver – $26,645, and Copywriter – $50,226. The average home value in St Louis is $176,719.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings – 59,131
  • Average Base Salary – $50,229
  • Average Median Home Value – $176,719
  • Latest Jobs – Legal Assistant, Delivery Driver, Copywriter

7. Hartford, CT – $60,320

According to US Today, Connecticut remains one of the wealthiest states in the country considering per capita income, although, within the city, the picture could become more complex. Although Hartford almost entered bankruptcy some years back, with the latest job vacancies of about 30,000 on Glassdoor, this might be going back to normal. Connecticut is ranked 47th on the list of best places to live in the United States.

Some available jobs include Physical Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, and Data Engineer with earning an average of $73,601, $59,667, and $82,513 respectively. The average home value in Connecticut, however, is $234,426, which is only city lower than Raleigh’s average.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings – 28,842
  • Average Base Salary – $60,320
  • Average Home Value – $234,426
  • Latest Jobs – Physical Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Data Engineer

8. Birmingham, AL – $45,000

The cost of living in the city is reasonably affordable, and two of the biggest sectors in the city area include insurance and finance. Birmingham was ranked 89th on the United States News list. Sample of available jobs includes Warehouse Associate – $26,547, Automotive Technician – $26,221, and Software Developer – $66,084. The average home value here is $153,702.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.5
  • Job Openings – 21,208
  • Average Base Salary – $45,000
  • Average Home Value – $153,702
  • Latest Jobs – Software Developer, Automotive Technician, Warehouse Associate

9. Cincinnati, OH – $50,268

This is the second city in Ohio to make the top 10. It sits at the 39th position on the Unites State’s news ranking and also a home to big companies like Macy’s and Procter & Gamble. The biggest industry in Cincinnati is health care and is ranked 4th on a list of cities with the right health care in 2019. Sample of available job include Electrician – $43,991, Community Care Coordinator – $38,363, and Receptionist – $26,302. The average home value in Cincinnati is $183,297.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.4
  • Job Openings: 45,638
  • Average Base Salary – $50,268
  • Average Home Value – $183,297
  • Latest Jobs – Receptionist, Community Care Coordinator, Electrician

10. Detroit, MI – $55,126

Sample of available jobs include Physician Assistant, Special Education Teacher, and Banker with an average income of $100,765, $43,683, and $26,384 respectively. This city currently has about 70,000 job vacancies, which are more than any of the top 10 cities.

The city has experienced fast growth since it filed bankruptcy in 2013 and is currently ranked 92nd on the United States News’ list. Detroit is still referred to as GM and Chrysler’s Headquarters even though the city is also home to developing technology and bioscience sectors. The average home value in Detroit is $177,741.

  • Job Satisfaction Rating (from a total of 5) – 3.3
  • Job Openings – 71,137
  • Average Base Salary – $55,126
  • Average Home Value – $177,741
  • Hot Jobs – Special Education Teacher, Banker, Physician Assistant

What are the Worst US Cities for Job Seekers?

1. McAllen, TX

Everything in Texas is bigger, as people do say. Among the big things in Texas include the high school football stadiums of over 10,000 capacities, the 10-gallon cowboy hats as well as its unemployment rates.

The unemployment rate at McAllen is 7.0%, which is four times higher than in the first city on our list. Those with jobs have an average household income of just $38,398. This average is the third-worst of any city present on our list.  However, Texas is among our list of the best cities with lowest cost of living.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 29.1
  • Population: 849,389
  • Unemployment rate: 7.00%
  • Average household income: $38,398
  • Average household rent: 716
  • Rent as a percentage of income: -.4%
  • Average working hours: 39.1

2. Bakersfield, CA

Although the Bakersfield Museum of Art is where most California artists’ finest work is situated, there is nothing attractive about the unemployment rate of the city at 7.2%. Monthly rent could take about $950 from workers. That may still sound affordable until you make a comparison with the average household income of $52,479.

Residents of Bakersfield contribute about 22% of their income toward rent payment. Although that is still below the national average of 30%, however, comparison with cities like Cincinnati and Ogden that have less than 16% rates could spark some nerves.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 30.6
  • Population: 883,053
  • Unemployment rate: 7.20%
  • Average household income: $52,479
  • Average household rent: $956
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 21.9%
  • Average working hours: 39

3. Miami, FL

The housing prices in Miami could make you feel like you are in the wrong part of the universe. The average household rent in Miami is almost $1,300, making up 28.7% of the average household income.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 32.0
  • Population: 6,070,944
  • Unemployment rate: 2.20%
  • Average household income: $54,239
  • Average household rent: $1,295
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 28.7%
  • Average working hours: 38.6

4. New Orleans, LA

The city is also called the Big Easy, but finding a job is never an easy task in New Orleans, with its 4.4% unemployment rate. Over five of the average household income is concentrated on rent, while workers spend an average of the 40-hours work week.

  • Work week a total of 100): 35.3
  • Population: 1,263,635
  • Unemployment rate: 4.40%
  • Average household income: $51,449
  • Average household rent: $969
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 22.6%
  • Average working hours: 39.5

5. Fresno, CA

Although you can find the exotic stingray touch pool at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, however, you can feel the harshness without purchasing tickets. The average household income in Fresno is $51,261 in a city with a high cost of living. The unemployment rate at Fresno is about 7%.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 37.4
  • Population: 978,130
  • Unemployment rate: 6.9%
  • Average household income: $51,261
  • Average household rent: $967
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 22.6%
  • Average working hours: 37.9

6. Stockton, CA

Although there are lots of excitement and fun to catch at the Children’s Museum at Stockton, you may have to hire a babysitter to go with your kids to have a fun-filled time at the museum. Workers at Stockton spend an average of 38.4 hours every week at work, which is 3.5 hours higher than our high-ranked city.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 38.0
  • Population: 732,212
  • Unemployment rate: 5.7%
  • Average household income: $61,145
  • Average household rent: $1,159
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 22.7%
  • Average working hours: 38.4

7. Modesto, CA

George Lucas hails from this city, a filmmaker popularly known for hits like American Graffiti, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars. This is a nice destination for cheaper housing costs. The median household rent in this city is a dollar lesser to $1,100, while the unemployment rate is at 5.6%.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 39.9
  • Population: 539,301
  • Unemployment: 5.6%
  • Average household income: $57,387
  • Average household rent: $1,099
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 23.0%
  • Average working hours: 38.1

8. Tampa, FL

The Busch Gardens amusement park is located in Tampa. This is a good distraction necessary for workers from real life. Workers in Tampa spend an average of 39.1 hours at work every week while spending almost a quarter of their income on rent.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 40.0
  • Population: 3,030,047
  • Unemployment: 2.6%
  • Average household income: $52,882
  • Average household rent: $1,070
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 24.3%
  • Average working hours: 39.1

9. Honolulu, HI

Hawaii is most people’s destination when they want to excuse themselves from real-life stress, but workers in Honolulu faces another type of stress. The average income in the city is $82.906; however, the monthly household rent is $1,700, that’s about 24.6% of income. It is also almost 10% higher than Provo, UT, which is our top-ranked city.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 40.0
  • Population: 987,638
  • Unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • Average household income: $82,906
  • Average household rent: $1,703
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 24.6%
  • Average working hours: 39.2

10. Orlando, FL

This is the home to Harry Porter’s World of Wizard, which is an amusement park that brings life to J. K. Rowling’s imagination of magical adventures. Orlando, FL, also offers low income and high rent to residents and those looking to move in. Housing in Orlando costs $1,161, but the average household income is just $55,095. This means over 25 cents of every dollar is spent on house rent.

  • Score (from a total of 100): 40.2
  • Population: 2,450,261
  • Unemployment rate: 2.5%
  • Average household income: $55,095
  • Average household rent: $1,161
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 25.3%
  • Average working hours: 38.7

Wrap up

Information is power. We hope that our list will help and guide you in choosing the best city to hunt for a job. Make sure you put everything into consideration before arriving at any city on this list. If you have chosen one city from the above list and need a moving company to help you relocate, check our list of reputable long distance movers.

Thomas Campbell
Thomas Campbell
He has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.
Thomas Campbell
Thomas Campbell
He has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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