The Top Cities For Finding Employment Right Now
One of the top recommendations routinely given to job seekers looking to maximize their potential of being hired is to remain open to the idea of relocating.
But to where?
To determine the best cities for finding employment, currently, Forbes worked with national staffing agency Adecco and considered factors such as industries within a particular city, cost of living, and the presence of companies with varied employment opportunities. Adecco used data and feedback from regional offices across the country as well as employment rate data from the Department of Labor to determine which 10 cities provide the strongest job opportunities right now.
Topping the list is Austin, Texas. With 4.4% unemployment* the city beats the national unemployment rate by nearly two percentage points. A cluster of colleges and universities provide education opportunities as well as employment in a number of fields, and anyone seeking a customer service or call center position is going to find some of the greatest hiring demand in Austin.
“The robust economy, lower cost of living, relaxed vibe and variety of jobs available make the city attractive for job seekers,” says Alyson Blake-Wilson, Adecco regional vice president. “Austin prides itself in its desire to be uniquely Austin, with the city having over 300 days of sunshine and offering easy access to the hill country and lakes.”
Just behind Austin is Madison, Wisconsin, with similarly low unemployment–4.7%–and high demand for manufacturing, customer service, healthcare, and professional services jobs. Recently, the city has experienced a bump in companies looking to hire manufacturing professionals experienced with consumer products and food.
As a city, Madison is known for offering a wide array of cultural activities while maintaining a strong sense of community and relatively low cost of living.
“The top two cities on this list—Austin and Madison—have a number of things in common; unemployment rates below 5%, large college and university networks, an affordable cost of living, access to good jobs, and a community that prides itself on being residents of the town,” says Joyce Russell, president of Adecco Staffing US. “This combination leads to an environment where skilled job seekers are really starting to dictate what they’d like in their new position, rather than employers being able to navigate that process.”
Those looking to capitalize on finance, accounting, and various business administration skills may want to explore opportunities in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Jacksonville appeals to job seekers as there are available positions in a number of different sectors,” says Mona Whitley, regional operations manager. “Professional options combined with wonderful weather, a developed park system, beaches and the financial incentives that come with Florida not having an income tax make the area irresistible to those looking for opportunities.”
Another Florida city providing opportunity for job seekers is Miami, where 30,000 jobs were added last year and demand for workers in the construction, hospitality, healthcare, and aerospace industries remains strong.
“The city offers a wide range of opportunities in the travel, media and hospitality industries,” says Jennifer Kochilaris, regional vice president, “but because of its proximity to South America, Miami is a center of industry and business allowing for unlimited opportunity in the professional services sector.”
Those looking for work in the northeastern part of the U.S. may want to look towards the Hudson Valley and Westchester County areas of New York state, where job opportunities in the accounting, regulatory and quality assurance, and healthcare industries are strong.
The area offers the pace of smaller towns with proximity to New York city.
“In the past year, this area has seen marked job growth in finance, accounting and healthcare,” said Laura Mellors, regional vice president.
“The manufacturing sector is showing increased hiring in a range of environments—pharmaceuticals, consumer goods—and positions from production all the way to management. Additionally, we’re seeing the local market more focused on what job seekers want in terms of hours, pay and benefits giving those looking for work leverage in the process.”
One surprise on the list may be the sole west coast representative, number 10, the Inland Empire area of California. The area is seeing strong demand in the distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing sectors, despite a 9.4% unemployment rate well above the national rate.
“We’re seeing a huge amount of growth in this area, and are anticipating this trend will continue into the future,” says Russell. “The national numbers are showing a rise in local hiring year over year and our clients are echoing that same feedback.”
Top Cities to Find a Job in 2014
1) Austin, TX | Top Industries Hiring: Customer Service, Business and Professional Services, Leisure and Hospitality
2) Madison, WI | Top Industries Hiring: Manufacturing, Customer Service, Healthcare, Professional and Business Services
3) Houston, TX | Top Industries Hiring: Healthcare, Logistics, Transportation, Business and Professional Services
4) Jacksonville, FL | Top Industries Hiring: Professional and Business Services, Financial Activities, Healthcare
5) Columbus, OH | Top Industries Hiring: Business and Professional Services, Manufacturing, Technology
6) Miami, FL | Top Industries Hiring: Construction, Healthcare, Leisure & Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, Aerospace
7) Charlotte, NC | Top Industries Hiring: Technology, Professional and Business Services, Manufacturing, Construction
8) Hudson Valley/Westchester County, NY | Top Industries Hiring:Business and Professional Services, Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing
9) New York, NY | Top Industries Hiring: Business and Professional Services, Finance, Fashion, Technology