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Best Cities for Jobs in 2022

Despite the pandemic, the U.S. has rebounded in the jobs sector with fast-growing fields like healthcare, construction, and technology. In fact, total U.S. employment is expected to drastically grow by 10.8% between 2021 and 2022. Other work trends in 2021 included companies pivoting to new business models, like hybrid and remote employment—which also lead to major companies moving their headquarters. So, if you’re thinking about moving for career opportunities in 2022, check out these ten cities offering booming job markets and affordable living!

Austin, TX

Austin, TX skyline. Photo by Instagram user @wallerhouse

Photo via @wallerhouse

  • Population: 907,779
  • Home Price: $257,800 median purchase price; $1,106 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 3.5%

Even though the pandemic slowed Texas’ steady population growth, Austin, TX is one of the best cities to live in the U.S. and remains on track to have a job growth boom in 2022. The capital city of the Lone Star State was already considered a city on the rise, but it’s become a popular location this year for businesses and young professionals due to its low unemployment rate, steady wages, and increase in workforce size. Former Silicon Valley-based companies also made the move to Texas, including software giants like Oracle, FileTrail, and QuestionPro, alongside technology investment firm 8VC. Electric car maker Tesla made the move to Austin as well, creating up to 5,000 jobs with the construction of the Gigafactory and providing manufacturing training programs in partnership with Austin Community College. Looking for employment opportunities in fields outside of tech? Some of Austin’s biggest employers include popular grocer Whole Foods Market, and Keller Williams Realty. With so much buzz around this Texas city, it’s easy to see how Austin could emerge as one of the best cities to find a job in 2022!

Boise, ID

  • Population: 218,677
  • Home Price: $191,000 median purchase price; $834 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 3.6%

Ranked as one of the best places to live in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho’s capital city is experiencing a population boom! One of the fastest-growing areas in the country, Boise’s expanding tech industry and its low cost of living made the city a top destination for people in 2021, and will likely continue as such for 2022. Large employers like Fortune 500 company Micron Technologies, supermarket chains WinCo Foods and Albertsons, and brokerage firm Colliers call Boise home. Surge City’s support of tech companies and entrepreneurial startups like Zennify, Vynyl and Tackle help attract a young, educated workforce. Plus, the mountainous city offers plenty of outdoor recreation and educational opportunities at Boise State University or various technical schools. Whether you’re a young professional entering the workforce or a business looking to open in an affordable area, Boise might be the city for you!

Boston, MA

Boston, MA skyline. Photo by Instagram user @stayforlong

Photo via @stayforlong

  • Population: 658,279
  • Home Price: $423,200 median purchase price; $1,369 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 4.3%

Due to its strong economy, opportunities for young professionals, and diverse job market, Boston was identified as one of the nation’s top places to find a job! The city has many Fortune 500 employers like financial services provider State Street, real estate investment company American Tower, and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Job seekers in the capital city of Massachusetts can find employment in financial services, healthcare, or technology sectors with companies like General Electric, Massachusetts General Hospital, or Rapid7. With top-notch universities like Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston University, Boston is one of the best cities for anyone looking for higher education and career development opportunities.

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Denver, CO

Shot of downtown Denver, CO with Rocky Mountains in the background. Photo by Instagram user @sam_kilman

Photo via @sam_kilman

  • Population: 663,303
  • Home Price: $292,700 median purchase price; $1,035 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 2.8%

With its strong economy, it’s no surprise that Denver ranks as a leader for jobs in technology, science, engineering, and mathematics! Colorado’s capital has shown healthy job market growth year after year, with ten Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the area, including kidney care specialist DaVita and financial service giant Western Union. Along with tons of other big businesses creating jobs in the city, Denver’s job market is in a position to thrive in 2022 with leading sectors in aerospace, communications, and bioscience. And with energy and natural resources being one of the biggest industries in the area, the Mile High City is perfect for mining and energy companies to set up shop near the Rocky Mountains.

Nashville, TN

  • Population: 643,771
  • Home Price: $174,600 median purchase price; $902 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 2.4%

Ranked as one of the best places to live in the Southeast, Nashville is one of the top cities for job opportunities in healthcare, entrepreneurship, tourism, and music. Music City offers employment with entertainment companies Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, as well as other major Nashville employers, like Vanderbilt University Medical Center, retail company Kroger, and auto manufacturer Nissan North America. Nashville also features a growing tech industry, with manufacturing and tech positions on the rise thanks to tech startups like CM Group and global tech services like Asurion. And with schools like Nashville Software School, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, and Nashville State Community College nearby, young professionals are able to participate in job training programs and higher education opportunities. With its booming job market, Nashville is one of the best places to find a job and advance your career!

Plano, TX

  • Population: 279,088
  • Home Price: $248,800 median purchase price; $1,196 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 3.3%

Looking to move to a growing city but don’t want to feel crowded? Check out Plano! Located just north of Dallas and Fort Worth, this Texas city has grown along with the rest of the DFW metro without sacrificing its small-town feel. People wanting to get away from traditional big cities can stretch their dollar even further in Plano thanks to an increase in salaries and no income tax. And while affordability is a big reason why people live in Plano, people are also moving here because of the jobs. With four Fortune 500 companies calling Plano home already, the city is expecting employment to expand by about 63,000 jobs. Relocations from employers like DZS Inc and Tipalti highlight a trend of businesses looking to move to this area as an opportunity to expand their operations.

Raleigh, NC

Aerial view of NC State campus clock tower. Photo by Instagram user @jonathan.mcrae

Photo via @jonathan.mcrae

  • Population: 441,326
  • Home Price: $218,200 median purchase price; $966 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 3.0%

Predicted to be one of the cities that recovered the quickest from COVID-19’s impact on the economy, Raleigh is well on its way to economic recovery as the tenth fastest-growing city in the U.S. In fact, the top 20 companies in Raleigh pay a median salary 45% higher than the market average, which is great for professionals looking to advance their careers in Raleigh. With startups like Pendo and PrecisionHawk and major Raleigh employers like TotalEnergies, one of the biggest oil companies in the world, and Fortune 500 company Advance Auto Parts, residents can find jobs with small and large businesses. Nearby North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill aren’t just big employers for the residents of Raleigh, but their graduates also feed into a developing tech market that’s expected to be one of East Coast’s biggest tech hubs by 2025. And because of its role in The Research Triangle, Raleigh is one of the best places for jobs because of its close proximity to three major research universities and hundreds of technology and biotech companies.

Salt Lake City, UT

Wide aerial view of downtown Salt Lake City with the mountain in the background. Photo by Instagram user @lukedavphoto

Photo via @lukedavphoto

  • Population: 191,446
  • Home Price: $248,700 median purchase price; $844 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 1.5%

Watch out, Silicon Valley—”Silicon Slopes” is on the rise! Salt Lake City has emerged as a hot spot for tech companies like Apple and startups like BambooHR and Artemis Health due to affordability and more people and businesses moving away from expensive cities in states like California. Utah’s capital city has been experiencing consistent job and population growth, so residents in SLC can choose from a variety of industries including government and retail, with employment opportunities at Alsco and Associated Food Stores. However, the city’s largest industry is healthcare, with Intermountain Healthcare ranking as the city’s top employer. Other major SLC employers include Salt Lake County, the University of Utah, Extra Space Storage, and Delta Airlines.

Scottsdale, AZ

View of Scottsdale with pink skies and mountains in the background. Photo by Instagram user @gbarb18

Photo via @gbarb18

  • Population: 234,495
  • Home Price: $405,500 median purchase price; $1,184 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 3.3%

Scottsdale has been one of the best cities for jobs for years, and 2022 is no exception. This Arizona city ranks as the number one city for jobs in the U.S. thanks to its steady job market, low unemployment rate, and employment growth. Most of Scottsdale’s software companies are forecasted to grow their employment by 10% over the next five years with tech companies like YellowBird, Emerge, Paradox, and website-building giant GoDaddy. While tech is a significant sector, Scottsdale has more recently seen an increase in demand for healthcare professionals. In fact, the industry is only predicted to grow in the future, with Scottsdale’s largest employers including HonorHealth, Magellan Healthcare, and Massage Envy headquarters.

Seattle, WA

  • Population: 668,849
  • Home Price: $484,600 median purchase price; $1,266 median monthly rent
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • 2021 Job Growth: 2.6%

Software hub Seattle is still considered one of the strongest business markets in the country for tech jobs. In fact, the city’s had the fastest-growing tech surge in the past five years, with home-grown tech companies like Microsoft playing a big role in the boom. Not everyone works in tech, though—Emerald City’s economy is made up of five Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, logistics company Expeditors, Alaska Air Group, Nordstrom, and Starbucks. The city is also home to other employers like real estate marketplace Zillow, and offers a variety of careers in leading industries like manufacturing and healthcare, which help make Seattle one of the best cities for jobs in 2022. And while Seattle can be a bit on the pricey side, its cost is offset by its career development opportunities and world-class public transportation.

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Moving for work in 2022? Extra Space Storage has conveniently located self storage facilities across the country that can help you get settled. Find a storage unit near you!

Population, housing prices, and unemployment statistics from AreaVibes. Job growth statistics from BestPlaces.

Aerial view of downtown Raleigh, NC at dusk.
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