So many options
Looking for a job is overwhelming, no matter what. Regardless of your location, your field, and the stage of your career, that job search can seem endless and insurmountable.
Multiply that stress by a bajillion if you’re open to relocation, and looking for jobs in multiple cities.
Too much oyster
If the world is your oyster but that kinda freaks you out, Indeed has a handy new list of (American) cities you should focus your search on. The job search engine determined that the best cities for job seekers share a few key qualities: a favorable labor market, good cost of living-adjusted average salaries, employers that value work-life balance, and solid job security and opportunities for advancement.
As you can see, a promising job search city isn’t just the place with the most open jobs.
Do you really want to move across the country for a job that pays peanuts and a boss that demands overtime daily? Unless it’s a passion project that you aren’t searching for, but actually finding, the answer is probably no. So check out the top contenders and save yourself a whole bunch of headaches.
5. Sacramento, CA
Number five on the list is Sacramento, California – the highest-placing Californian city. There are more so-called unicorns in cities like San Francisco, but do you really want to pin your career dreams on a technically nonexistent narwhal-horse? Sacramento scored particularly high in work-life balance and salary, which indicates that employers in Sacramento value their employees, and probably listen to them too. Almost a quarter of all the jobs in Sacramento are in government, but there are also some tech giants like Intel, and a diverse spread of other industries as well.
4. Austin, TX
At number four we have Austin, TX, the natives of which will be dismayed to see yet another plug for their sacred hometown, which according to them is overrun with Californians and other vagrants. But like it or not, Austin is growing, growing, growing, largely in part due to its status as an up and coming tech hub, already home to the likes of Dell, Apple, and even Indeed. It too owes the majority of its jobs to government, however. Work life balance is a big deal in Austin – we all need time for tacos.
3. Raleigh, NC
Number three on the list is Raleigh, North Carolina, which has the friendliest labor market on the list, but does fall short when it comes to work-life balance and job security and advancement. Major employers in Raleigh include IBM and Duke University and Health System – the professional services and business industries are booming here.
Second on the list is Orlando, Florida, which, believe it or not, is home to things other than Disney World. Orlando’s job market is stronger than 98% of the cities, including the city at the top of Indeed’s list. But Orlando is a pricy place to live, which means a good salary doesn’t go as far here as it might elsewhere. The biggest industry in Orlando is – surprise, surprise – leisure and hospitality, but there are also plenty of opportunities in trade and transport.
1. Miami, FL
*Drumroll, please.* Miami, Florida made the top of Indeed’s list, with the highest overall ranking for both work-life balance and job security and advancement. Again, though, Miami is an expensive place to live, so salaries aren’t as great there. The best industries in Miami are trade, transport and utilities, and professional and business services. Ready to soak up some Florida sun?
The Mason-Dixon charm
You may have noticed that the top four cities are Southerners, and the top 15 on Indeed’s list are in the South or West. Blue skies and blazing suns must make for great jobs, and according to census data, the so-called Sun Belt has many of the fastest growing cities in the country. If you burn easily or have vampire tendencies, you could try Seattle, Washington (17th on the list), Hartford, Connecticut (18th), or Providence, Rhode Island (21st).
You also may have noticed that a few major metropolises are missing: where’s NYC, where’s Chicago?
Recent census data shows that these gargantuan cities are growing less and less popular.
And manufacturing centers like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis are also facing population stagnation or decline. Senior Vice President at Indeed Paul D’Arcy says it makes sense: “Manufacturing jobs have steadily declined over the years and haven’t shown promise for career growth like a generation ago.” Now those states “are working to diversify their economy to attract workers and keep talent in their state,” he says.
That means that yesterday’s job trends may not match tomorrow’s, so don’t target a city just because it’s booming. But if you like the location, the vibe, and the prospects, get searching!