Looking for a job? It helps to look in the right places.
That doesn't just mean choosing an industry where talent is in demand. It also means looking in a city with a thriving and growing job market. There are some booming job markets in the United States that could greatly improve your chances of finding a good position - and other markets where weak demand for labor makes it tough to find a decent job, even ten years into an economic expansion.
What a difference - looking at job growth by city
To help you navigate the current employment environment, MoneyRates.com studied data for 389 metropolitan areas to select the 10 hottest job markets for 2019 based on three factors:
- Total job growth by city over the past 12 months
- Percentage job growth by city over the past 12 months
- Lowest current unemployment rate
All figures are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MoneyRates ranked each of the above factors and then averaged the rankings in each category to determine the best cities to find a job in 2019.
There are surprising differences in employment opportunities across the nation, and it helps to understand the range of possibilities. Here are some examples of how extreme the differences can be:
- Unemployment rate extremes
Ames, Iowa has the lowest unemployment rate of any metropolitan area in the United States at just 1.4 percent. In contrast, people are more than 12 times as likely to be jobless in El Centro, California where the unemployment rate of 17.4 percent is the highest in the nation.
- Job growth extremes
The greater New York City metropolitan area, which also includes Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey had the highest total job growth in the U.S. over the past year with a net total of 107,800 new jobs created. While most of the country created jobs over the past 12 months, 62 out of 389 metropolitan areas actually lost jobs during that period. The Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington area of Minnesota suffered the worst job losses, with a net employment decline of 10,400.
- Best job growth in the U.S.
On a percentage basis, the best job growth in the U.S. was Midland, Texas with a 6.1 percent gain in local jobs. At the other end of the scale, the worst percentage declines in local jobs were found in Danville, Illinois and Houma/Thibodaux, Louisiana, both of which lost 2.2 percent of their jobs over the past year.
10 hottest job markets 2019
Naturally, where you should look for a job depends a great deal on your particular skill set and the nature of local industries and businesses. However, the above cities are a good place to start because, in terms of the health of the overall employment market, these seem to be the best cities to find a job.
Job market data by city
|Overall Rank||City||Unemployment Rate||Number of Jobs||% Job Growth|
|1||Nashville-Davidson -- Murfreesboro -- Franklin, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area||2.4||29,800||3|
|2||Provo-Orem, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area||2.8||9,400||3.6|
|3||Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||3.2||49,800||3.9|
|4||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||2.8||56,300||2.3|
|5||Odessa, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area||2.7||4,100||5.3|
|6||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||2.8||25,600||2.3|
|7||Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area||2.9||6,000||3.1|
|8||Boise City, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area||3.3||12,800||4|
|9||Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area||3||23,800||2.3|
|10||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||3.3||9,100||3.3|
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