The Best Cities for Job Searching

Posted April 11, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves
Two years ago, my husband and I began to consider moving to a new city. We thought about the type of city we wanted to live in, the location of the city in relation to our families, the cultural opportunities in each city, and many more criteria before choosing to move to Chicago. But above all else when deciding to move to a new city, we took into consideration where there might be ample job opportunities for both of us – my husband, an attorney, and myself at the time a full-time fundraiser. Chicago seemed to boast a strong corporate community for my husband and a large community of nonprofit organizations and associations for me.

Apparently, though we both had success finding jobs here in Chicago, our instincts to move to a larger city might have been the wrong ones in this economy. When’s The Work Buzz posted an article titled “13 of the Best Cities for Jobs”, naturally I assumed you’d find at the top of the list New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Isn’t logic clear that larger cities might have more job opportunities? Rather, the list is topped by Lincoln, Nebraska and Bismarck, North Dakota. In fact, this native North Dakotan found 6 of the 13 cities near my hometown (in the upper midwest) and 2 of those cities in North Dakota itself.

The Work Buzz list is based solely on unemployment rates, a strong indicator of job availability, but definitely not the only indicator. I found another study from that went a step further, comparing the ratio of job postings to the unemployment rate in that city. On this list, you’ll find a larger range of cities, New York City included. But you’ll also still find Hartford, Connecticut and other smaller cities have ample job opportunities.

The answer isn’t as clear cut as it might seem. Small town vs. big city, it’s hard to tell which might better produce job search results. But whatever your taste might be, think outside the box when considering any potential move. It might be that Bismarck, North Dakota provides as many job opportunities as the Big Apple.


About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."