The national unemployment rate continues to fall, but the job market varies widely from state to state and city to city. These 9 cities offer the best job markets, according to a recent report.
The US economy added some 252,000 jobs last month, according to the most recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was good enough to drop the unemployment rate to 5.6%, the lowest rate since June of 2008.
However, as with most large data sets, the good news comes along with some not-so-good news. Specifically, wages aren’t growing at the pace many economists would expect during a time of falling unemployment. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, former Obama Administration economist Jared Bernstein said wages haven’t picked up because the relatively low unemployment rate is somewhat misleading.
“The job market is less tight than you’d think from just looking at the unemployment rate, because a lot of people gave up the search when job creation was negative or weak,” he wrote.
Another issue: The low unemployment rates aren’t spread evenly across the US. For instance, North Dakota has an unemployment rate of just 2.7% in November, the last month for which complete state unemployment data are available. On the other end of the spectrum is Mississippi, which had a 7.3% unemployment rate.
The website WalletHub recently took the data a step further in an effort to determine which cities have the strongest and weakest job markets. The result is their list of the Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job.
The report uses a variety of data beyond the unemployment rate. For instance, it looks at the number of job openings compared to the number of unemployed people, the median salary for people starting new jobs, housing affordability, and employer benefits. Those data were split into 2 categories: Job Market and Socioeconomic Environment.
WalletHub included 150 cities in the list. The bottom 5 were:
146. Memphis, TN
147. Hialeah, FL
148. Detroit, MI
149. Moreno Valley, CA
150. San Bernadino, CA
So which cities scored the highest? What follows are the 9 Best Cities to Find a Job. Data come from WalletHub’s report and the US Census Bureau (2013 population estimates and median household income, 2009-2013).
Job Market Rank: 37
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 2
Median Household Income: $72,154
Job Market Rank: 4
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 61
Median Household Income: $45,862
Job Market Rank: 30
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 5
Median Household Income: $48,052
Job Market Rank: 18
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 6
Median Household Income: $71,083
Job Market Rank: 10
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 14
Median Household Income: $101,535
Job Market Rank: 12
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 8
Median Household Income: $51,672
Job Market Rank: 15
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 7
Median Household Income: $80,355
Photo via Wikimedia Commons user cygnusloop99/via Creative Commons license
Job Market Rank: 1
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 19
Median Household Income: $45,836
Job Market Rank: 2
Socioeconomic Environment Rank: 12
Median Household Income: $65,277