The 10 best U.S. cities for job seekers in 2014
The jobs available, including positions in energy, trucking and manufacturing, are as diverse as the cities that have the jobs.
Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Job seekers may have the best luck in landing a new position in the Lone Star State, new research shows.
A study by the finance site NerdWallet.com revealed that Texas has three of the best U.S. cities for job seekers. Austin, which tops the list — as well as Fort Worth and San Antonio — were among the top 10 most attractive cities for those looking for work. The rankings are based on each city's unemployment rate, to determine job availability; whether the area is growing, to ensure that the city is attracting workers and exhibiting a trend of upward growth; and if the city is affordable to live in, to assess whether residents could live comfortably in the area. [LinkedIn's Top 25 Most In-Demand Career Skills]
Based on those factors, here are the 10 best U.S. cities for job seekers:
Austin, Texas: Austin is experiencing tremendous growth — the city has the highest working-age population growth of the cities on the list. It is also a burgeoning technology hub, with each of its two major companies — Dell and IBM — employing more than 6,000 people. Austin has plenty of resources for job seekers and working professionals, including the Bronze Pages guide, as well as a chapter of the American Society for Training & Development, which provides professionals with workshops, study groups and networking opportunities to help further their careers.
Washington, D.C.: Washington, D.C., had a 4.61 percent growth rate from 2010 to 2012, and has one of the higher median incomes for workers, at $45,151 per year. Known for the government sector, D.C. also has thriving education and health care industries. The two largest employers are Georgetown University and The George Washington University, and two health care facilities —Washington Hospital Center and the National Children's Medical Center — are the third- and fourth-largest employers, respectively. Those looking for help in their job search can reach out to Project Empowerment, a job-training program that helps D.C. residents with subsidized employment while working with them to secure permanent nonsubsidized employment.
Fort Worth, Texas: Located a little more than 30 miles west of Dallas, Fort Worth's main industries are the government sector and manufacturing. The city's largest employers are American Airlines and Lockheed Martin, which produces fighter jets, including the F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon. For job seekers, the Dallas/Fort Worth area has many organizations that provide useful career training, such as the CCI Career Training Center.
Denver: The Mile High City's main industries include aerospace and manufacturing. Two of the major employers in the area are Ball Corp. and Lockheed Martin. For those looking to secure a job, the nonprofit association SCORE Denver provides low-cost services to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed in the area. The Denver Chamber of Commerce helps young people network and get involved in the community with The Denver Metro Chamber Young Professionals Group.
Charlotte, N.C.: Charlotte is a major financial center in the country. It has a diverse economy, with the largest employers ranging from manufacturing to financial services. Bank of America has its worldwide headquarters in town, and Wells Fargo has its East Coast division headquarters in downtown Charlotte. Charlotte has a thriving arts community as well, and the Arts & Science Council offers many workshops to foster the professional development of creative individuals.
Raleigh, N.C.: The capital of North Carolina is known for its research and development industry. This is largely due to the Research Triangle Park, a hub for tech companies that contains some of the largest employers in the area, including IBM. A local resource for career development is the Center for Employment Training, which provides hands-on training for vocational skills.
Omaha, Neb.: Omaha has been enjoying a low unemployment rate. Four of the top 10 major employers in the city are in the health care industry, including Alegent Creighton Health and Methodist Health System. First Data Corp. is in the data processing industry, employing thousands of people who live in the area. Job seekers can look for training through the Nebraska Department of Labor, which offers a searchable training provider index. This is a useful resource for professionals who want to further their education in their trade.
Minneapolis: The city's diverse economy is based on commerce, finance, health care and trucking. Some of the largest employers include Target, the University of Minnesota and Wells Fargo. The University of Minnesota has a campus in Minneapolis, and it offers programs that enrich the public, such as a yearly Women's Leadership Conference.
Oklahoma City: The energy industry has a strong presence in the Oklahoma City area, and major employers include two Fortune 500 energy companies: Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Devon Energy Corp.In addition, arts-and-crafts supplier Hobby Lobby has its corporate headquarters in the city. The Professional Development Institute at Oklahoma City Community College offers flexible adult education and training programs with the only state-certified compressed-natural-gas (CNG) technician program in the city, and the interfaith nonprofit The Education and Employment Ministry offers job training and placement assistance for area adults.
San Antonio: Technology and energy are growing industries in San Antonio, partially due to the area's major employers: Southwest Research Institute and Valero Energy. In addition, the financial-services industry in the city is strong. PROJECT Quest is an award-winning local workforce training and development program that has a 90 percent job placement and retention rate for graduates.
Complete rankings of the top 20 cities and how each city fared in specific categories — including median income, unemployment rate, homeowner costs and population growth — can be found on NerdWallet.com.
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