John S. Kiernan recently published an article titled “Best & Worst Cities to Start a Career” on Wallet Hub. Kiernan highlights that while young Americans are actually less mobile today than they were just a decade ago, the U.S. economy is very fragmented right now, and moving to where the jobs are is definitely still a viable strategy.
In undertaking the study, Wallet Hub dug up reams of data on the 150 largest cities in the U.S. to examine the relative strength of their job markets, the quality of life, and other factors that might impact new job seekers. Kiernan and colleagues then compiled the data and ranked the cities into a Best/Worst Places to Live list.
It’s worth noting that Texas had four cities in the 2014 top 10 list and that California had four cities in the bottom 10 list.
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Top 10 best cities to start a new career
Not too surprisingly, Washington DC came in number one on the list of best places to start off a career. The national capital enjoyed third place in both the quality of life and the professional opportunities rankings, which together with relatively high scores across the board in the other categories, was enough to vault it into first place.
Denver, Colorado came in second on the list of best cities to start a new career. Denver ranked ninth in quality of life and fifth in professional opportunities.
Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, came in third on the list. Irving was only 32nd in overall quality of life, but its second place ranking in professional opportunities and relatively high other scores pulled it up to third overall.
Seattle, Washington showed up in fourth place on the best cities to start a new job list courtesy of its fourth place finish in quality of life and 20th ranking in professional opportunities.
Rounding out the top ten best cities to start a career list, Minneapolis was fifth, San Francisco was sixth, Austin was seventh, Dallas was eighth, Charlotte was ninth and Houston was 10th.
Bottom 5 worst cities to start a new career
According to the Wallet Hub survey, the bottom five worst cities to start a new career are Akron, San Bernadino, Stockton, Port St. Lucie (Florida) and Modesto.