10 Best Cities To Find A Job

best cities job seekers

Choosing whether to relocate for work is rarely an easy decision. And that's particularly true if you're not quite sure where to move to or haven't yet landed a job. How to make it easier in this tough economy? Focus on places where job seekers are having an easier time finding employment.

Personal-finance website NerdWallet has done just that, examining data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Council For Community and Economic Research to find the fastest-growing cities for those seeking employment. NerdWallet then ranked 26 U.S. cities based on four factors: population growth, income, unemployment rate and cost-of-living.

The top 10 winners are shown below. Check them out and tell us what you think.



  1. Charlotte, N.C.
  • Median annual salary: $31,910.
  • Unemployment rate: 9.2 percent.
  • Median rent (for a two-bedroom apartment, monthly): $790.

NerdWallet credits Charlotte's upsurge in population, moderately high salaries and low cost-of-living for making this Southern city an ideal destination for job seekers. Major industries include banking, motor sports and defense.




  1. San Antonio
  • Median annual salary: $31,667.
  • Unemployment rate: 7.4 percent.
  • Median rent: $823.

San Antonio's relatively low unemployment rate and low cost-of-living make it a better option than many cities for job-seekers, NerdWallet says. Growing industries here include cyber security and information technology, with more than 80 companies in the city focused on those sectors. Other big employers include financial services, health care and defense, which employs nearly 90,000 people.




  1. Seattle
  • Median annual salary: $41,695.
  • Unemployment rate: 7.5 percent.
  • Median rent: $1,417.

With no shortage of high-tech employers, such as Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., Seattle remains a strong draw for many job seekers. The high cost-of-living, reflected in rents that are higher than many other cities on this list, are offset by higher median income and relatively low unemployment. Health care is another big employer of Seattleites, providing jobs to 20 percent of the city's workforce.




  1. Dallas
  • Median annual salary: $27,251.
  • Unemployment rate: 8.5 percent.
  • Median rent: $792.

Dallas' primary draw for job hunters includes a low cost-of-living, especially compared to similarly sized cities. But its unemployment rate is slightly higher than other Texas cities on this list and salaries are on the low side. Still, NerdWallet says, a wealth of jobs in the tech and telecommunications sectors make the Big D worthy considering should you be relocating to find employment.




  1. Fort Worth
  • Median annual salary: $24,270.
  • Unemployment rate: 8 percent.
  • Median rent: $980.

As with other Texas cities on this list, Fort Worth's high rank is aided by its affordability. Rents are comparatively low, as is the city's unemployment rate. Fort Worth is the working class neighbor to its more glamorous neighbor, Dallas, and that's reflected in the industries that dominate here, including manufacturing and airlines, which include American Airlines, which is based here.




  1. Houston
  • Median annual salary: $26,849.
  • Unemployment rate: 8.2 percent.
  • Median rent: $1,311.

As with many cities on this list, Houston's attractiveness as a haven for job seekers is driven in part by strong population growth, combined with a "moderately low" unemployment and a low cost-of-living. Dominant industries include health care research, manufacturing, aerospace and alternative -- or "green" -- energy.




  1. Denver
  • Median annual salary: $32,051.
  • Unemployment rate: 9.1 percent.
  • Median rent: $931.

Denver is situated near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, making it a great place for those who like living in a big city but also appreciate easy access to wilderness and outdoor activities. Though it's no longer the bargain it once was, the cost-of-living is comparatively low, and the region's economy is well diversified. Top industries here include aerospace, broadcasting, telecommunications and health care, which has seen a 23 percent increase in employment during the last five years.




  1. San Francisco
  • Median annual salary: $46,777.
  • Unemployment rate: 8.6 percent.
  • Median rent: $2,702.

Living in San Francisco is expensive, but the exponential increase in rent, compared to other cities on this list, is matched by higher salaries. A frequent destination for tourists, San Francisco's proximity to the Silicon Valley nearby has fashioned the city into a tech hub, with some of the best known names in the business based here or nearby: Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Twitter Inc., Yelp Inc. and more.




  1. Washington
  • Median annual salary: $43,993.
  • Unemployment rate: 10.2 percent.
  • Median rent: $1,823.

The nation's capital endured tough times during the '60s, '70s and '80s, as residents fled the city for the suburbs. But the draw of thousands of well-paying jobs, in both the private and public sectors, has helped fuel Washington's revival. NerdWallet says that although the unemployment rate and cost of living are high, a higher-than-average median income makes the city more affordable for job seekers.




  1. Austin, Texas
  • Median annual salary: $31,170.
  • Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent.
  • Median rent: $968.

Topping NerdWallet's Best Cities for Job Seekers list, Austin offers the best combination of attractive qualities for those looking for work. It's unemployment rate, by comparison, is low, salaries are decent and rents reasonable. It's also a fast growing city with burgeoning biotech and tech sectors. IBM, Apple Inc. and Google all have a presence here, and computing-giant Dell Inc. calls Austin home.





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Filed under: Employment Trends

David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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53 Comments

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IT PC Support Tech

I have been living in Denver Colorado all my life and I decided to get into the IT industry more than 20 years ago and recently I had moved from a 7 1/2 year job at a credit union in Denver because I was not getting anywhere and only getting grief because of these MAC products like the iphone, MAC books, IPads, and VPN, an thought well I thought maybe I could go back to school and meet the IT industry standards here ad even with that it is still hell to find a job in the IT industry for anything and all the colleges here want you to get loans and grants to go to there schools here so they can put you in a financial hole so they can get there commissions from the government, I am going to be a banquet houseman at one of the hotels here so I can make it and pay my bills.

January 19 2014 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
10

A lot of this is miss-leading. Of course it's stated by AOL an ex Turner company who is huge in development and parntered with most the over developers of recent years including banks.

Be that as it may - These cities are only hiring the foreign. having been to almost every single one of the mentioned cities and looking for work ( I was looking to re-locate)
Charlotte, NC was the worst claiming, if I couldn't speak spanish, how could I comunicate with the other workers? Who, the latinos had 90 percent of the jobs at those places and were being paid on average $18 an hour.

Being Bank of A was king there - It figured as much.

Austin the same thing.
Dallas the same..

The only one I found even remotely Caucasian - let alone American friendly was San Fran. Some of the nicest people on the planet. But the cost of living was - is high.

I find most claims of low cost of living is due to a Banks intrest in selling off an over developed area that they are holding a bunch of foreclosed properties on. If one person buys they jack the price back up.

go were you want but, I've been looking for a few years now. and haven't many of these claims to hold true. There is always a agenda behind the hype.

December 04 2013 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laurie

Go Texas!!
That's how economies work when done properly!

January 28 2013 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
curtisbrooks

Half the cities are in Texas go figure

January 28 2013 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bobcornerstone

Why is washington in here, according to this report you would have to pay out half your income just on a place to live.

January 28 2013 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bobcornerstone's comment
Laurie

It said best place to find a job, not most affordable.
I agree with you, though...

January 28 2013 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DShook

If there were more "bible thumping" states and cities there would be less crime and poverty that now plauges liberal parts of the country. Let's start keeping Texas and Oklahoma a secret so fewer liberal obamaites will move here. My, God...we don't need any more of those fools.

January 28 2013 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
themechanicsix

Live in the city? Are you nuts?
Looking down from my helicopter, you city people look like a virus. Act like a virus. Do as they say like a virus.

January 28 2013 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to themechanicsix's comment
rademps

I wonder what that means.

January 28 2013 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher

How can you say that a city with a 9.1% unemployment rate is a "best city" for job seekers?

January 28 2013 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Christopher's comment
ngagnon558

could be because Seattle has the highest suicide rate in Kings County....so there ya go...more people offing themselves, more job opportunities

January 28 2013 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joelknowlton

All the crying libs can't stand the fact that TEXAS is the best. Conservative policies work!!!! LIbs will never admit. Just look at CA. nuff said

January 28 2013 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joelknowlton's comment
amsola12

joelknowlton---stop with the libs and conservs BS on a monday morning. its annoying already. How about the fact we are all americans.

January 28 2013 at 12:19 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

Lots of opennings suggests a people shortage. Why a shortage ? Turns out it rains there most of the time. I'm talking gray dreery depressing weather about 300 days a year. If you like this, go for it.
Pot is legal there, so life in the fast lane has become, hey dude chill man.

January 28 2013 at 5:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
Bob Fletcher

Judging by the traffic there is no people shortage in Seattle. Tell us what beautiful wonderland you live in Alfred. I'm sure we can find a few warts. Weak minds are easy to depress.

January 28 2013 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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