Top 15 Cities With the Best Job Markets in the US

The strongest job markets in America are found in midsize cities, according to an assessment of 300 metro areas from The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal partnered with Moodys Analytics to analyze Labor Department data for the metro areas and rank them based on five attributes: job growth, unemployment rate, share of adults working or looking for work, change in the size of the labor force and change in average weekly wages. An average of the attributes was used to determine the hottest labor market in the U.S.

Below are the top 15 and bottom 15 job markets from the large cities rankings. This listing includes ties. The complete ranking and scoring, including small cities rankings, can be found here.

15 Best Cities for Job Seekers in the US
  • Raleigh, North Carolina. …
  • Tampa, Florida. …
  • Seattle, Washington. Overall Score: 67.8. …
  • Boise, Idaho. Overall Score: 66.5. …
  • Phoenix, Arizona. Overall Score: 66.3. …
  • Denver, Colorado. Overall Score: 64.0. …
  • Salt Lake City, Utah. Overall Score: 59.3. …
  • Portland, Oregon. Overall Score: 59.1.

How the Class of 2022 Aims to Tackle the Best Job Market in Years | WSJ

What are the characteristics of cities with good job markets?

The job market is the number of people searching for jobs in proportion to the available vacant jobs. The success of a job market depends on the demand for the labor of goods and services in a particular industry. Certain cities have better job markets due to the following characteristics:

Cities with the best job markets in the U.S.

Austin, Texas

Austin, the capital of the Lone Star State and the live music capital of the world, is widely known for its growing tech center. In addition to jobs in technology, Austin has many jobs in management and government occupations. According to the BLS, Austins unemployment rate is 5.6%, and its average annual salary is $57,830.

Denver, Colorado

Denver, located close to the Rocky Mountains, is the capital of Colorado. Research industries, along with aerospace and defense sectors, are rising in Denver. Other popular job fields include telecommunications, biotech, healthcare and finance. According to the BLS, the unemployment rate is currently 6.9%, and the average annual salary for Denver is $64,880.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is surrounded by water and is the site for the Space Needle. Since Seattle is one of the countrys tech centers, jobs in technology are in high demand. Seattle also employs people in healthcare, biotech, manufacturing and maritime. The unemployment rate is 5.6%, and the average annual salary for Seattle is $74,330.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, located in Californias Bay Area, tends to pay more per hour than other cities. Popular jobs in San Francisco are in tourism, healthcare, education and biotech. San Franciscos unemployment rate is 6.3%, and the average annual salary is $81,840.

Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, considered part of the Baltimore-Washington area, is a restored waterfront city along the Chesapeake Bay. Office and administration roles tend to be the most popular jobs in Columbia, followed by sales and transportation positions. Columbias unemployment rate is 5.8%, and its average annual salary is $62,510.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake Citys mountains make it known for skiing and tourism. In addition to hospitality, jobs tend to be popular in the transportation, trade, technology and utility industries. Salt Lake Citys unemployment rate is 3.6%, and its average annual salary is $55,460.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is situated close to Pikes Peak at the base of the Rocky Mountains, making it an attractive location for those looking to train for sports at high altitudes and create fort locations for the military. Popular jobs include office positions and sales and food-related service jobs. In Colorado Springs, the unemployment rate is 7.1%, and the average annual salary is $55,540, according to the BLS.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, known as “Indy,” is the site for many iconic museums and the Indianapolis 500 event. Indianas capital offers a diverse array of jobs in manufacturing, logistics, technology and sports. Currently, the unemployment rate in Indianapolis is 4.5%, and the average annual salary is $53,060.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is both the capital of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England. Since it is a historical site and a widely visited city, tourism and hospitality are popular job fields in Boston. Other large industries include education and healthcare. Boston has an unemployment rate of 6.5%, and the average annual salary is $69,240.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is the center for the countrys lawmakers as well as an urban city with plenty to see and do. In addition to federal and state government jobs, citizens work in health service, education, business, finance and tourism. The unemployment rate for Washington, D.C., is 5.8%, and the average annual salary is $77,210.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor is a city filled with a historical downtown, tech hub and walkable “Tree Town.” With a large university and hospital, jobs in education and healthcare are prominent, and technology positions are in high demand as well. Ann Arbor has an unemployment rate of 4.2%, and its average annual salary is $59,200.

South Burlington, Vermont

South Burlington is situated off of Lake Champion, which divides the city from New York. Popular jobs include office and administrative roles and service-related positions. South Burlingtons unemployment rate is 2.8%, and its average annual salary is $56,390.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale is a desert city east of Phoenix thats famous for luxury boutiques and golf courses. The most popular job fields in Scottsdale are healthcare, technical services and finance. Scottsdales unemployment rate is 6.7%, and the average annual salary here is $54,870.

Plano, Texas

Plano, north of Dallas, has several business headquarters and the Historical Farmstead Museum to showcase its former farming community. Common jobs are office and sales positions as well as food and transportation roles. Plano has an unemployment rate of 6.7%, and its average annual salary is $49,010.

Boise, Idaho

Boise is an outdoor paradise with numerous rivers, mountains, canyons, deserts and lakes. What once was mostly a logging and trading location is now becoming a technology sector. Federal, healthcare and office jobs are also popular in the area. Around 4.2% of the citys population is unemployed, and the average annual salary in Boise is $47,170.

FAQ

Which US state has the most job opportunities?

1. South Carolina. South Carolina has the highest employment rate in the United States of 97.7% (an unemployment rate of 2.3%). From September 2019 to December 2019, South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped from 2.9% to 2.3%, hitting historic lows four times.

What are the best job markets right now?

The top 10 industries job-seekers want to work in right now, according to new research
  • Advertising and marketing.
  • Computer and information technology.
  • Health care.
  • Business and finance.
  • Retail.
  • Food and hospitality.
  • Education.
  • Arts and entertainment.

What is the hottest job market?

So, which are they? First, Austin, Texas. The city is becoming a tech hub and “has the highest share of people working or looking for jobs and the highest growth in payroll employment,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

How is the job market in the US right now?

U.S. employers added 390,000 new jobs in May, possibly indicating the beginning of a slowdown in job creation, according to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past year, at least 400,000 jobs were added each month.

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