If your goal for 2017 is to find a high-paying job in an affordable city, you may want to start your search in Texas or North Carolina. Each state boasts two of the best U.S. cities for job seekers, according to a new study.
NerdWallet found the top 10 cities for job seekers by identifying the places where Americans will find work opportunities and also stretch their paychecks. The study of the 100 largest cities in America factored in federal data on unemployment rates and workforce growth, as well as median earnings and rent costs. See the full analysis for the detailed methodology.
The best cities for job seekers
- Austin, Texas
- Denver, Colorado
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Seattle, Washington
- Durham, North Carolina
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Irving, Texas
- Raleigh, North Carolina
What these cities have in common
Industry hubs. Many of these cities are home to large employers in the fast-growing technology and health care industries. In terms of technology jobs, Austin, Seattle, Durham and Raleigh boast many opportunities. The latter two are near the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park, which employs more than 46,000 high-tech workers. Durham is a health care hub, too, with Duke University and Health System employing tens of thousands. Nashville and Atlanta also are home to many health care companies.
Millennials live here. Nine of the 10 best cities for job seekers have a higher-than-average percentage of 20-somethings, according to 2015 U.S. Census data. The population in Minneapolis is particularly young, with nearly 22% of residents ages 20 to 29. The average percentage of residents in their 20s among all 100 cities is 17.2%.
State capitals. Half of the 10 top cities for job seekers are state capitals, which tend to have more government job opportunities than other metro areas. For example, in Wake County, where Raleigh is, the state of North Carolina is the largest employer.
Laura McMullen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @lauraemcmullen. Sreekar Jasthi is a data analyst at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected].