To rank the best cities for job seekers, MoneyGeek calculated three factors using earnings data and employment statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and median rent rates reported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to estimate how good a city is for someone seeking jobs. We analyzed data for 95 cities with labor forces of at least 300,000 across the U.S.
The first factor we calculated is overall growth, which incorporates the trends in jobs created and trends in wages.
The next consideration is job competition, which includes the unemployment rate and the overall size of the employment numbers reflecting greater absolute availability of jobs.
The final factor is housing affordability, which captures the ratio of wages over rents to indicate an area’s cost of living.
Additionally, MoneyGeek used 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data to analyze which cities had a higher-than-average population of Generation Z residents for job-seeking new college graduates.
MoneyGeek used the following metrics in our analysis:
– Growth in employment, last 12 months: 22% weight (double weight)
– Growth in employment, last three years: 22% weight (double weight)
– Growth in hourly wages, last 12 months: 22% weight (double weight)
– Unemployment rate, current: 11% weight (full weight)
– Size of labor force: 11% weight (full weight)
– Monthly wages over monthly rents ratio: 11% weight (full weight)
The individual factors were ranked as follows:
– Overall Growth: Growth in employment over the last 12 months (44% weight), growth in employment over the last 36 months (22% weight), hourly wage growth in the last 12 months (33% weight). In the overall ranking, this is 45% of the overall weight.
– Job Competition: Unemployment rate (78% weight) and size of the labor force (22% weight). In the overall ranking, this is 45% of the overall weight.
– Housing Affordability: Wages over rents ratio (100% weight). This is 10% of the overall weight.
– For the purposes of this analysis, only metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with labor forces of at least 300,000 were considered in the ranking.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The Employment Situation — January 2023.” Accessed February 28, 2023.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, & Earnings.” Accessed February 2, 2023.
United States Census Bureau. “Explore Census Data.” Accessed February 2, 2023.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “50TH PERCENTILE RENT ESTIMATES.” Accessed February 2, 2023.