Top Cities for Job Seekers

By Dave Nerz

What I am about to say may seem obvious. Location is a critical factor in a successful job search. For some job searches, location may be as significant as your experience and qualifications. An old saying goes “eggs are cheaper in the country.” Well, some jobs are just more plentiful based on location. In addition to the availability of open jobs, there are also other factors that make location important. Consider the favorability of the labor market, average salary of open jobs compared to cost of living, work/life balance ratings by city and the job security and advancement offered by local employers. Indeed just completed a study using these 4 factors and here is their list of top cities in the US for job seekers:

  1. Miami
  2. Orlando
  3. Raleigh
  4. Austin
  5. Sacramento
  6. San Jose
  7. Jacksonville
  8. San Diego
  9. Houston
  10. Memphis

So if you work on military software applications, your opportunities may be significantly more plentiful and valuable in a location with a military base nearby. f you are in the oil and gas sector, Houston is a better fit than Portland. If you are a cattle herd manager, New York City is not where you need to be. If you are a financial analyst, large cities and their suburbs may offer more openings than rural locations. So in addition to building a plan of companies you want to work for, job seekers might also build a list of top cities/locations where they would relocate.

A good recruiter will be asking you early on your interest and availability to relocate. I have personally done 3 relocations across and around the US. It is both difficult and exciting. It often creates challenges for you and your loved ones, but also creates growth and opportunity. It is a big step and recruiters and employers alike need to know you are committed. Relocation costs are sometimes covered by employers for highly sought-after positions, while for other jobs you may be asked to cover your own costs.

If you are a real planner, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes detailed information by profession and expected growth by region looking forward. Another old axiom is, “fish where the fish are!” Take the time to figure out where you are most in demand and get there or be willing to go there. It will make your search more productive and your income more compatible with the costs of living. Happy job seeking!


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