Report: What is the Best City for Job Seekers?

With unemployment at a 17-year low and job creation numbers on the rise, the news for job seekers has been good recently.  But of course, industries and opportunities vary across this vast nation, and the job market in sunny Los Angeles is not the same as in windy Chicago.

Meanwhile, every job seeker has different priorities—for some it may be living close to family, for others it’s work-life balance or salary. Therefore, when thinking about what constitutes ‘the best city for job seekers’ numerous factors have to be taken into account.

Here at Indeed we identified four questions that we consider key:

  1. How favorable is the local labor market to the job seeker?
  2. What’s the average salary, adjusted for cost of living?
  3. How high do employers score for work-life balance in Indeed’s review database?
  4. How high do employers score for job security and advancement opportunities in Indeed’s review database?

Next, we analyzed the data for the 50 metro areas with the most job postings on Indeed, and ranked each city on the four factors. Finally, our data science team used these factors to assign an Indeed City Score, which gave each metro an overall score out of 100. What did they find? Read on!

Sunny side up: Californian cities lead the rankings

This is our second year of ranking the best cities for job seekers and we noticed some big changes. In fact, we’ve got six newcomers this year’s top ten — two of whom didn’t even crack the top 25 in 2017.

Our 2017 rankings featured seven southern cities from Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas in the top ten. This year half of the top ten cities for job seekers are in California—including first place San Jose, second place San Francisco, as well as San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

Outside of California, the other cities in the top ten represent practically all four corners of the U.S., and the Midwest: Boston, Miami, Minneapolis, Seattle and Washington DC. The rise of Minneapolis and Boston is notable, as neither cracked the top 25 last year.

The overall Indeed City Score took multiple factors into account, so even the top ranked cities fared well on some indicators, and less well on others. Our sunniest cities in the top ten ranked highest on work-life balance. Los Angeles, Miami, San Jose, San Diego and San Francisco were the top five ranked cities for this measure.

But it’s not all about hanging out at the beach — the same cities topped the lists for job security and advancement as well, with Miami coming in first, San Diego second, Los Angeles third, San Jose fifth, and San Francisco sixth. Interestingly, the same cities ranked relatively low on salary. Because we adjusted salary for cost of living, this suggests that the cost of living may be outpacing salaries in these cities.

Relatively chilly Minneapolis and Seattle rank high for job market favorability (#3 and #6 respectively) meaning the ratio of jobs available to the number of job seekers is favorable to the seeker in those cities. Washington DC and Miami may not appear to have much in common — one is the seat of…

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