Some cities are better than others for certain jobs. Looking for a manufacturing job? Head to Houston, Texas. Billboard magazine insists that Nashville, Tenn. is the place to go if you’re a musician looking for a gig. Out-of-work finance professionals would be wise to head to Dallas, Texas.
In fact, cities in Texas dominate most lists of those with the largest projected rate of job growth. Forbes’ list of Best and Worse Places for Job Growth, for example, lists seven Texas cities in their top 10, using research from Moody’s Analytics.
Overall, cities with low unemployment rates and lots of job openings tend to be the best bet for job hunters willing to relocate, according to U.S. News and World Report’s Danielle Kurtzleben.
If you’re thinking about relocating to a different part of the country for a job, however, there’s a lot more to consider than the number of available jobs. The editors at Forbes understand this and use 12 metrics to grade cities on their List of Best Places for Businesses and Careers. Some of these include the number of jobs added, cost of living and quality of life.
Let’s take a look at the top five cities that job seekers should consider.
5. Nashville, Tenn.
Nashville comes in at number five on Forbes’ list. Editors chose Nashville for its economic growth, but it was also named 2012’s top city in the nation for job growth by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And don’t think Nashville’s a city only for guitar pickers; right now local businesses are actively recruiting information technology professionals.
The cost of living in Nashville is 10 percent lower than the U.S. average, and the median list price of a home in Music City is $215,000. New construction is selling before the homes are finished.
4. Lincoln, Neb.
With a population of 265,404, Lincoln has the lowest unemployment rate in the country – 3.5 percent. The cost of living is attractive as well, at 10.2 percent below the national average.
If you’re looking for work in the health care or insurance industries, you’ll most likely have good luck sending resumes to companies headquartered in Lincoln. You’ll love home prices as well – the average list price for a home in Lincoln is $184,966.
3. Raleigh, N.C.
People love Raleigh, N.C., according to Forbes. In fact, the city boasts the “second highest rate of net migration of any metro area over the past five years.” That’s a tall order considering it’s not in Texas.
The population of 1,194,100 happy campers doesn’t seem to mind that their cost of living is 4.7 percent higher than the national average. There are jobs aplenty, especially in high-tech and biotech research, health care and education.
An average home in the City of Oaks will run you about $187,600.
2. Provo, Utah
Now we’re talkin’! Not only is the cost of living in Provo, Utah almost 8 percent less than the national average, but home prices are just about rock-bottom, with an average of $144,400. Combined, these two factors make living on the average income for the area – $59,442 – quite doable.
Since you need a job, however, you may be interested in knowing that Provo is home to software giant Novell, home security company Vivint and personal care and nutraceutical developer Nu-Skin.
1. Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines ranked for nine of Forbes’ 12 criteria, so it naturally takes the number one spot on the list of the best places to find a job. The city is home to a little over one-half million residents and offers more financial services employment than anywhere else in the country.
You can live like a king or queen on the area’s average income of $59,329, especially since Des Moines’ cost of living is 8.1 percent below the national average. The median home price in the city is $152,000.
Cities not worth considering, at least for the job hunter, according to Forbes, include:
- Holland, Mich.
- Shreveport, La.
- New Orleans, La.
- Lake County, Ill.
- Hickory, N.C.