Should You Relocate to Find Your Job?

relocatingAccording to a recent survey by job search engine, the top five markets with the least competition for jobs are:

  • Washington, D.C. (one unemployed per job posting)
  • San Jose, CA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • New York, NY
  • Salt Lake City, UT

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On the other end of the spectrum, the markets with the most competition for jobs are:

  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Miami, FL (nine unemployed per job posting)

If you currently live in an area with high unemployment and not many job openings, it may be time to think about expanding your search. Here are some key considerations:

You still have to think about the kind of work you want to do and are capable of doing vs. the kind of work that is available in that city. If high-tech is not your thing, for example, then San Jose may not be the place for you. You still may find pockets of opportunity there, but there may be more possibilities in the other top cities on the survey.

Be prepared to pay for relocation expenses out of your own pocket as fewer companies are offering relocation assistance. You may get some help, but the amount may be capped.

Speak to friends and contacts in that area to get a sense of the general business climate. Not sure you know anyone who lives there? Check your connections on LinkedIn or Facebook, or your college alumni directory.

While owning a home or having kids in school decreases your flexibility to move immediately, depending on where you live now, your cost structure may actually decrease. And making the leap to a higher growth area may be worthwhile if it means you're able to win gainful employment instead of waiting around for a recovery in your area that may be a long time coming.

Next: Tax Deductible Job Search Expenses >>

Liz Lynch


Years ago, Liz Lynch ran out of her first networking event after five minutes, but since then has become a top networking strategist, international speaker, coach, and radio show host appearing on CNN, ABC News, Fox Business News,, and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USAToday. Previously, Liz worked at Goldman Sachs, Disney, and Time Warner, and was most recently vice president of business development and strategy at BusinessWeek. She holds an engineering degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford University. For more smart networking tips and resources, visit

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