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Best U.S. Cities for Jobs

Whether you’ve just graduated from college or are looking for a career change, the place where you decide to live can make a huge difference in your ability to find a job. After all, cities undergoing significant economic growth are much more likely to have a large number of companies actively on the lookout for qualified job candidates. So where are the best job markets in America today? The following are some of the best cities for jobs:

Austin, TX

aerial photo of downtown Austin, TX with river view photo by instagram user @sayakakunze

Photo via @sayakakunze

The state capital of Texas is also the country’s fastest-growing large city. Exceptional growth in the tech and defense industries have caused the city to be ranked atop multiple lists for the best cities for business, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Some of the top tech companies in the area include Dell, 3M, Apple, Intel, PayPal, and Xerox.

Austin isn’t just home to large corporations, though …

The famous “Keep Austin Weird” motto is often used in reference to the city’s strong support for independent companies. A rich array of cultural events and a well-educated population have helped the city build a strong reputation in recent years.

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Columbus, OH

drone view of columbus, OH skyline photo by Instagram user @columbusdronie

Photo via @columbusdronie

Ohio’s most populous city is also home to a strong economy that derives much of its strength from its diversity. Columbus is home to four Fortune 500 companies: Big Lots, American Electric Power, Nationwide Insurance, and L Brands.

However, jobs can be found in everything from aviation and defense to fashion and hospitality.

In addition to being a great place to find traditional employment, Columbus has also been ranked as one of the top cities to run a small business, making it a great choice for entrepreneurs. Part of this can be attributed to the area’s low cost of living with housing in particular being much cheaper than the national average.

Indianapolis, IN

Affordable housing and a diverse job market have contributed to significant economic growth and a low unemployment rate (3% in March 2018) for Indianapolis.

Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are some of the area’s biggest employers with Anthem and Eli Lilly both calling the metro area home. Other notable employers include FedEx, Angie’s List, CSX Transportation, and CNO Financial Group.

Indianapolis has a wide variety of attractions for families and young professionals alike.

Sports fans can enjoy professional football and basketball games, while art lovers can check out the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Art Center. Families will love The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, which has the distinction of being the largest children’s museum in the world.

Orlando, FL

Downtown Orlando looking at fountain and skyline photo by Instagram user @mctrefferson

Photo via @mctrefferson

What could be better than working in a place where it’s almost always sunny and warm? Tourism has long played a key role in the Orlando area’s vibrant economy (especially with attractions like Disney World and Universal Orlando).

However, this is far from the only industry contributing to Orlando’s growth. Other big-name employers include defense contractor Lockheed Martin, video game developer Electronic Arts, and the University of Central Florida.

With median home prices hovering at an affordable $172,100 and many of the area’s suburbs boasting crime rates well below the national average, Orlando is a great place to raise a family. Proximity to beaches and amusement parks ensures there will never be a shortage of fun activities.

Phoenix, AZ

How strong is Phoenix’s job market? In Wallethub’s 2018 rankings for the best places to find a job, four of the top five cities on the list were located in the Phoenix metropolitan area (Chandler, Scottsdale, Peoria, and Gilbert).

The region has experienced this surge in job growth, thanks in part to companies like GoDaddy, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Apollo Education Group, which have established their headquarters in the area. Other major employers include Intel, Banner Health, American Airlines, and Wells Fargo.

An increasingly stabilized housing market, solid economic growth, and above-average wage growth are all serving as driving factors that bring young families to this desert city.

Pittsburgh, PA

skyline of pittsburgh from above photo by Instagram user @abovepitt

Photo via @abovepitt

Pittsburgh actually topped Glassdoor’s list of best cities for jobs in 2017, which weighed its rankings based on hiring opportunities, cost of living, and job satisfaction. Pittsburgh is primarily home to industrial companies, such as U.S. Steel and Westinghouse Electric Company,

Affordability is a big factor that helps set Pittsburgh apart. According to AreaVibes, the city’s median home price is a mere $100,800—much lower than you’ll find in other parts of the country. With the Carnegie Museum of Art and professional football, baseball, and hockey teams, you’ll never tire of things to do in the city!

Portland, ME

downtown street view of portland maine photo by Instagram user @visitportland

Photo via @visitportland

You can be forgiven for thinking of Oregon when you hear the name “Portland,” but Portland, Maine also has a lot to offer for job seekers.

Portland is the main source of the state’s economic growth with tourism and healthcare being the top job sectors. Other major employers in the region include Bank of America and Key Bank.

Portland also boasts unemployment rates of less than 3%—well below the national average. Many employers in the region have actually expressed concern that they won’t be able to find enough workers, further highlighting the area’s above-average demand for talented individuals.

Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

raleigh durham, NC skyline photo from drone photo by Instagram user @flyboyaerial

Photo via @flyboyaerial

The Raleigh-Durham area is part of a larger region in North Carolina known as “the Research Triangle,” thanks in part to Duke University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill all being located in the area.

The addition of smaller colleges and universities makes education one of the top employment sectors. However, the region is economically quite diverse: IBM, PNC, Verizon, and Toyota all have large branches in the metro area.

Chapel Hill is generally regarded as one of the best cities to live in the region with below average crime rates and a median household income that is 18% above the national average.

Salt Lake City, UT

Located along the Wasatch Front, Salt Lake City offers residents prime access to skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The area’s natural beauty and high quality of life have resulted in a large number of tech companies opening new offices in the area, including Adobe, eBay, and 3M. Other major employers include the Huntsman Corporation, Questar, and Goldman Sachs.

This influx of employers combined with a youthful population has resulted in Salt Lake City being ranked as one of the top job markets for recent college graduates.

Utah also has some of the highest home ownership rates for 18 to 34-year-olds in the country, making it a great place for young professionals to start a family.

San Francisco, CA

Another tech hub, San Francisco is home to some of the highest earners in the country—2016 estimates found the median income to be approximately $96,677 per year. The reason for such high income?

San Francisco’s top employers include Facebook, Oracle, and Salesforce. Other engineering and tech jobs are likewise driving wage growth.

While these high salaries are paired with a higher cost of living, many find the tradeoff to be worth it. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman’s Wharf are just a few area attractions that help San Francisco stand out.


Do you need help as you relocate to a new city? With storage facilities across the country, Extra Space Storage will help you as you settle into a new career. Find a storage unit near you today!

Best Cities for Job Opportunities

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