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3 job-finding secrets: Location, location, location

October 07, 2011

| MoneyRates.com Senior Financial Analyst, CFA

The old saying is that three things matter in real estate: location, location, and location. But did you also know that the same is true of jobs?

Recently-released figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the employment picture is actually improving in 70 percent of the country, but at the same time, the same figures showed that 100 metropolitan areas are still grappling with double-digit unemployment.

Vastly different job situations

The BLS figures showed that as of August, unemployment had improved in 262 of 372 metropolitan areas, and that 74 areas had unemployment rates below 7 percent. At the same time, unemployment continued to rise in 84 areas. Unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.0 percent in Bismark, North Dakota, to 32.4 percent in El Centro, California.

As tough as today's job market is, you can make it easier or tougher on yourself, depending on where you choose to live.

Moving considerations

For those of you who are considering moving for financial reasons, here are three key things to check out as you eye a new location:

  1. Job market. Make sure the move will really improve your employment prospects. Finding a place with a lower unemployment rate is a start, but then you want to dig a little deeper. Make sure that an area has job openings in your field, for people with your qualifications and experience.
  2. Real estate costs. Real estate costs differ greatly from one area to another, so make sure you aren't in for a case of sticker shock when you move. Also, check out different neighborhoods in the new region, to see where the best bargains may be.
  3. Banking environment. Moving may prompt you to change banks, so make sure you find the best CD, savings or money market rates in the new area, and find a bank which still offers free checking accounts. Also, open a checking account at a bank with an ATM network that covers the locations you plan to be in.

In summary, moving can improve your odds of finding a job--as long as you choose the right location.



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