The west coast and the midwest dominate Indeed’s best cities for job seekers, while the northeast gets left out in the cold.
Things are looking sunny for job seekers in California.
Golden State cities including San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento topped Indeed’s Best Cities for Job Seekers 2018 report released on Thursday. Indeed analyzed data for the 50 metro areas with the most job postings on its site, and ranked them by factors reviewed in its database including: the ratio of jobs available to the number of job seekers; the average salary adjusted for cost of living; how high employees score for work/life balance; and how high employers score for job security and advancement opportunities.
San Jose came in first place despite having lower average salaries than many cities (coming in 35th place for pay) thanks to being ranked number one for job market favorability. It is the home of Silicon Valley, after all, and the site of Apple’s new campus. San Jose also scored highly in work/life balance and job security and advancement.
Neighboring San Francisco, home to Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest and Twitter, came in second place for sharing the same vibrant job market, work/life balance and job security. And Glassdoor reports that the City by the Bay has enjoyed the fastest job growth and the biggest wage growth of the cities it’s tracking this year. Boston, San Diego and L.A. rounded out the top five.
It’s important to note that the west coast cities ranked relatively low on the salary scale once pay was adjusted for cost of living, however, as rents and housing prices may be outpacing salaries. But money can be stretched further out west.
“A recent Hiring Lab report looked at where tech salaries go furthest in the U.S., which found that tech salaries in San Jose and San Francisco were actually at the top of the pack after being adjusted for cost of living,” Paul D’Arcy, Indeed’s senior vice president of marketing, told Moneyish. “It is also interesting to see that the salary rankings for metros like San Jose and San Francisco are more favorable than Miami, New Orleans, Washington D.C., and even other California metros like Los Angeles and San Diego.”
It’s a job-hunter’s market right now, with U.S. unemployment at a 17-year low, and the 313,000 jobs added in February notable for being the biggest monthly increase in almost 2 years. And the west coast isn’t the only place where job seekers are basking in opportunity.
Several Midwestern cities make this year’s list after being largely frozen out of Indeed’s rankings last year. Minneapolis cracked the top 10, coming in at number six overall for having the third most favorable job market. It’s biggest employers include 3M, Target, Allina Health System,and the State of Minnesota, as the capital is nearby. In fact, its home state of Minnesota was recently named the third best state for millennials by WalletHub due to being rated highly for economic health, civic engagement and quality of life. And five other Midwestern states, including Milwaukee (11th), Columbus (19th), Omaha (20th), St. Louis (21st) and Chicago (24th) made the top 25, with Milwaukee and Omaha scoring high in job market favorability, and St. Louis ranking high in salary.
“Over the last year, manufacturers have added over 200,000 jobs to the workforce. The Midwest has historically been home to a large portion of manufacturing employment, which could be why there is such a spike in this ranking,” noted D’Arcy. “That, combined with favorable cost of living, could be the reason the Midwest had a strong showing on this year’s list of best cities.”
And the South makes a strong showing for job seekers with seven cities making the list, including Miami (8th), tech hub Austin (12th), New Orleans (14th), San Antonio (17th), Atlanta (22nd), Memphis (23rd) and Houston (25th). New Orleans ranks highly on job security and advancement, and Atlanta has the seventh best salary adjusted for cost of living overall.
But noticeably absent are many Northeast cities, particularly NYC, which is the most populous metropolitan area in the country. New York failed to make Indeed’s top 25 list for jobs for the second year in a row, likely because it’s extremely expensive, winter weather has been getting worse, and jobs are moving to other regions. More than a million people have left New York since 2010, outpacing the number of people moving in, which is in line with the larger trend of Americans making a mass exodus from the Northeast.
“New York specifically scored the worst of all cities in terms of average salary weighted for cost of living, and didn’t fare much better in terms of job market favorability,” said D’Arcy, adding, “We do know there is a general trend with people wanting to live in warmer climates with favorable cost of living, and companies in the sun belt (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.) are following suit by providing desirable work environments and advancement opportunities. We did, however, see a number of East Coast metros make their debut on the list this year, including Boston, DC, and Baltimore.”
But Indeed notes that “rust belt” cities including Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh didn’t make the list because their economies are still struggling to recover from long declines in jobs.
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