When thinking of relocation, Americans consider an area’s job prospects as among the most important factors. While other factors such as the school system or the cost of housing may play a role, a job ensures the viability of the relocation. Of course, one person’s great job may not suit another person’s skill set. Still, some cities offer more jobs in more fields. And for those seeking a dream job — some cities are better than others, according to a report published Wednesday by job review website Glassdoor.
Glassdoor considered four aspects of U.S. metro areas: job opportunities, affordability, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. The report identified the 25 best cities for jobs. The San Jose, California, metro area, which includes also Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, leads the nation. The Hartford, Connecticut, metro area rounds out the top 25.
The top four cities for jobs — the Boston, Massachusetts, Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California, and San Jose California metro areas — all have well-established and rapidly expanding technology sectors. Home to Silicon Valley, San Jose has become a magnet for young professionals seeking high paying technology positions. The typical area worker earns well over $100,000 a year.
The relatively high pay in these cities helps ensure financial stability for many residents. The poverty rates in 21 of the 25 best cities for jobs are lower than the national poverty rate of 15.5%. A high salary is certainly a major factor in job satisfaction, and has a large impact on the surrounding economies of these cities. However, it is not the only component in what job seekers look for.
> Job openings as of April:26,311
> Median salary: $54,000
> Population: 1,278,413
> Net migration 2010-2015: +21,756
> Unemployment rate: 4.6%
In an email with 24/7 Wall St., Allison Berry, Glassdoor community expert, said, “Work-life balance and affordability increasingly matter to job seekers when they are searching for the best city to land a new job.” While access to high paying jobs can offset the very high costs of living in some of the top cities, for a growing number of Americans cheaper real estate and other comforts that are often harder to find in large, economically vibrant metro areas, are becoming increasingly more important.
“When it comes to finding the best city for jobs, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better,” Berry said. The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Kansas City, Kansas, Detroit, Michigan, and San Antonio, Texas metro areas stand out as being either mid-sized urban centers or not especially well-off economically. Yet, due to factors such as affordability and high job satisfaction, areas such as these have some of the best professional opportunities in the nation.
The healthy job markets in these cities is helping attract new residents. From 2010 to 2015, the population of average U.S. metro area grew by 1.3% due to migration. Of the 25 cities reviewed, the populations of 16 grew faster from migration than the average metro area. The populations of the Austin-Round Rock, Texas area and the Raleigh, North Carolina area grew by 9.6% and by 7.4% respectively — two of the fastest population growths due to migration in the country.
To identify the best cities to find great jobs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. metro areas ranked in the report “25 Best Cities for Jobs” from Glassdoor. The number of job openings as of April 25, 2016, and median base salary for each area were provided by Glassdoor. Population and net migration data from 2010 through 2015 came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Unemployment rates are for March 2016 and came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.