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The Best Places in Massachusetts for Job Seekers

Oct. 13, 2013
Home Search, Mortgages
Best Cities in Massachusetts for Job Seekers
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Massachusetts is a great state for job seekers. The Bay State added 7,500 jobs in August alone, and 22,500 since December 2012. As many young professionals seek jobs, NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the best places for job seekers in Massachusetts.

NerdWallet analyzed the best cities for job seekers by asking the following questions:

  1. Is the city growing? We assessed population growth from 2009 to 2012 to ensure that the city was attracting workers.
  2. Can you afford to live in the city comfortably? We measured a city’s median household income to see if workers made a good living. We also analyzed the monthly homeowner costs, including mortgage payments, to see if the city had a reasonable cost of living.
  3. Are most people employed? We looked at the unemployment rate.

The Best Places in Massachusetts for Job Seekers

1.    Newton

Newton is a city in Middlesex County, seven miles west of downtown Boston. Newton residents boast a median household income of $109,724, while monthly homeowner expenses are only $1,000. Additionally, Newton has a low unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, and the city saw a population growth of 2.1 percent between 2009 and 2012. Top employers in Newton are Boston College, Education Development Center and Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Nearby Boston College also provides many programs such as the Center for Work and Family, which includes resources for local businesses to create an effective workplace for employees.

2.    Everett

Everett is located four miles north of Boston in Middlesex County. Everett saw a large population growth of 10.0 percent between 2009 and 2012. The median household income in Everett is $48,319 while homeowner expenses are $700 per month. The largest industries in Everett are finance and insurance as well as healthcare and social assistance, and the largest employers in Everett are BostonCoach, Fidelity Communications and Alliance Detective & Security. The Everett Chamber of Commerce publishes a free monthly newsletter about the Chamber’s recent activities and helps local businesses advertise.

3.    Revere

Revere is a city located in Suffolk County, approximately five miles northeast of Boston. Revere’s residents earn a median household income of $50,592 while paying $759 per month in monthly homeowner costs. Additionally, Revere saw a population growth of 2.8 percent between 2009 and 2012. Major employers in Revere include NECCO, People’s United Bank and Allied Waste Services. To help local businesses, Revere’s Mayor Daniel Rizzo and the Revere Chamber of Commerce, along with other community stakeholders, have teamed up with Google’s Get Your Business Online program to encourage small businesses to set up an online presence.


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4.    Malden

Located in Middlesex County in eastern Massachusetts, Malden is a city approximately five-and-a-half miles north of Boston. Malden saw a 7.0 percent population growth between 2009 and 2012, and the city has a low unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. Malden’s residents earn a median income of $52,842 while paying $678 in monthly homeowner costs. The city government has focused on developing and revitalizing downtown Malden for both residential and commercial purposes. Top employers in Malden are General Insulation, Armatron International and Asahi/America.

5.    Marlborough

Marlborough is a thriving technology community located in western Middlesex County. Marlborough’s residents earn a median household income of $72,853 while only paying a median of $745 in homeowner expenses per month. Marlborough also has a low unemployment rate of 5.7 percent. Marlborough is a center of technology, with large employers such as Raytheon, Agilent Technologies and Dow Electronic Materials. Marlborough is a top destination for biotechnology and has received a Platinum rating as a BioReady Community from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development.

6.    Melrose 

Melrose is a city located seven miles north of Boston in Middlesex County, and it is home to many healthcare facilities. Melrose’s median household income of $84,599 is the second highest on our list, and it has a low unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. Many of Melrose’s top employers are healthcare facilities, such as Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Golden LivingCenters and EPOCH Senior Healthcare of Melrose. The Melrose Chamber of Commerce provides local businesses with services such as online advertising, networking opportunities within the city and even member discounts.

7.    Waltham 

Waltham is located 12 miles west of Boston in Middlesex County and is a hub of higher education. Waltham residents earn a median household income of $68,326 and have a low monthly homeowner cost of $720. Additionally, Waltham has a low unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. Top employers in Waltham include National Grid, an electric and gas utility company, and Novell, an infrastructure software company. Waltham is also home to both Brandeis University and Bentley University, two of the other largest employers in the city. Brandeis University offers Community-Engaged Learning projects and partnerships where students can gain hands-on experience with community members and local businesses, including the local government. Bentley University provides corporate partnerships for businesses to leverage research and talent from the school.

8.    Medford 

Medford is located six miles north of Boston, east of Malden. Medford saw a population growth of 2.6 percent from 2009 to 2012, and its households earn a median income of $72,033. Medford also has a low unemployment rate of 6.0 percent. Medford’s top employers include Agero, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Budweiser. The Medford Arts Council is attracting artists and artistic organizations with plenty of cultural events, an arts festival and even grants. Medford is home to Tufts University, which provides on-campus study groups and online courses for adults in the community who want to continue learning through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

9.    Methuen 

Methuen is located in northern Essex County, bordering New Hampshire. Methuen saw a 7.7 percent population growth between 2009 and 2012, and Methuen’s households earn a median income of $65,799. The main employers in Methuen include Holy Family Hospital, 3M and North Reading Transportation. Methuen’s Department of Economic and Community Development works closely with community groups to foster economic development. For example, Methuen’s residents work with the city government on sustainable initiatives like the Clean River Project to clean the Merrimack River.

10. Beverly

Beverly is located in Essex County in northeastern Massachusetts. Beverly’s median household income is $67,733 and the unemployment rate is 6.3 percent. Top employers in Beverly include American Renal Associates, Beverly Hospital and Orchard Brands. Beverly’s government develops the community by forming special boards and commissions such as the Clean Energy Advisory Committee and the Economic and Community Development Council. Beverly is also home to Endicott College, which offers single parents in the community a special Keys to Degrees Program to help all workers obtain the education they need to further their career.


Rank City Nearest Big City Population Change (2009 to 2012) Median Household Income (2011) Monthly Homeowner Costs (2011) Unemployment Rate (2013) Overall Score
1 Newton Boston 2.1% $109,724 $1,000 5.2% 79.8
2 Everett Boston 10.0% $48,319 $700 7.8% 76.5
3 Revere Boston 2.8% $50,592 $759 8.1% 74.3
4 Malden Boston 7.0% $52,842 $678 6.7% 70.5
5 Marlborough Worcester 1.9% $72,853 $745 5.7% 70.4
6 Melrose Boston 1.3% $84,599 $829 5.9% 70.3
7 Waltham Boston 2.1% $68,326 $720 5.5% 70.2
8 Medford Boston 2.6% $72,033 $750 6.0% 68.7
9 Methuen Lowell 7.7% $65,799 $629 9.6% 67.9
10 Beverly Salem 1.9% $67,733 $735 6.3% 67.7



The overall score for each city was derived from the following measures:

  1. Population change from 2009 to 2012 from the U.S. Census (2009 and 2012 ACS)
  2. Median household income from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS, half-weighted)
  3. Monthly homeowner costs with mortgage payments from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS, half-weighted)
  4. Unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013)

76 Massachusetts communities designated as places by the U.S. Census were included in this analysis. Only places with a population greater than 25,000 were considered.

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