The 20 best cities for finding a job in 2016

Job market and socioeconomic environment

Better for job seekers
If your motto is "new year, new job," you may also want to consider a new city.

As it turns out, places like Austin and Salt Lake City are better for job seekers than New York City and Los Angeles right now, according to personal-finance site WalletHub.

To narrow down the 20 best cities for finding a job in 2016, WalletHub compared the 150 most populous US cities based on 17 metrics (like job opportunities, employment growth, monthly median salary, and safety) across two key dimensions (job market and socioeconomic environment, with a greater emphasis on the former).

20. Chandler, Arizona

Employment growth: 0.39%
Median annual income: $74,919
Chandler ranks fourth in the "annual median income" and "housing affordability" categories, helping it land the No. 20 spot overall.

19. Seattle, Washington

Employment growth: 0.74%
Median annual income: $53,085
Seattle is one of the best cities for benefits, with 83.9% of its employees covered by private health insurance, according to WalletHub.

18. Lincoln, Nebraska

Employment growth: -0.38%
Median annual income: $54,960
Despite the negative employment growth, Lincoln is one of the best places for families and has a very low unemployment rate (2.9%).

17. Fremont, California

Employment growth: 0.81%
Median annual income: $63,376
Fremont's No. 6 safety ranking attracts a high number of families to the area. The city also offers a comfortable lifestyle with its high annual income and low percentage of employed residents living below the poverty line.

16. Scottsdale, Arizona

Employment growth: -0.12%
Median annual income: $75,317
Scottsdale may be in the red in terms of employment growth, but this Arizona town ranks No. 5 for singles, No. 3 for recreation, and No. 7 for benefits.

15. San Francisco, California

Employment growth: 2.38%
Median annual income: $46,793
San Francisco may not offer the most affordable housing, but it does rank No. 6 for low transportation costs and No. 7 for job opportunities on WalletHub.

14. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Employment growth: -0.15%
Median annual income: $47,050
Boasting the eighth-lowest unemployment rate and the fifth-highest number of job opportunities, Minneapolis provides a promising social and professional life, according to WalletHub, despite the negative employment growth.

13. Amarillo, Texas

Employment growth: 0.49%
Median annual income: $53,960
Amarillo ranks No. 4 for its low unemployment rate and No. 10 for housing affordability.

12. Denver, Colorado

Employment growth: 1.68%
Median annual income: $48,186
With plenty of recreational activities and low transportation costs, Denver is a great place for young professionals to search for jobs. The Mile High City ranks No. 12 for its job opportunities on WalletHub.

11. Boise, Idaho

Employment growth: 4.57%
Median annual income: $51,963
It may be No. 11 overall, but Boise takes the top spot in the socioeconomic environment category. It also ranked No. 5 for recreation, No. 6 for employment growth, and No. 10 for unemployment rate.

10. Omaha, Nebraska

Employment growth: -1.48%
Median annual income: $55,211
Omaha ranks sixth in terms of socioeconomic environment, thanks to its top-five ranking for unemployment and recreation. Employment growth is negative, but that doesn't mean finding a job is impossible.

9. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Employment growth: -0.84%
Median annual income: $55,965
Sioux Falls may not be experiencing employment growth right now, but it has one of the lowest unemployment rates among all cities analyzed by WalletHub and is the fifth-best place for families, helping it land the No. 9 spot overall.

8. Madison, Wisconsin

Employment growth: 3.18%
Median annual income: $50,405
Madison ranks as the sixth-best city for families, and third-best in terms of the amount of time residents spend working and commuting.

7. Irvine, California

Employment growth: 1.81%
Median annual income: $62,372
Irvine's bright spots: safety and benefits. It ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in those categories, respectively.

6. Des Moines, Iowa

Employment growth: 4.38%
Median annual income: $50,467
The high number of job openings and the high rate of employment growth are the main reasons Des Moines came in at No. 6 overall.

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

Employment growth: -1.21%
Median annual income: $48,552
Ranking No. 1 for job opportunities and for singles, Salt Lake City is a great place for today's young, unemployed college grads, according to WalletHub, despite the negative job growth. It also ranks No. 3 in the unemployment-rate category.

4. Irving, Texas

Employment growth: 1.03%
Median annual income: $52,275
Irving ranked No. 4 for employment growth and full-time employment, helping it snag the No. 4 spot on the overall list.

3. Austin, Texas

Employment growth: 0.80%
Median annual income: $58,368
Austin ranks No. 6 in two important categories: monthly median salary and unemployment rate.

2. Overland Park, Kansas

Employment growth: 0.77%
Median annual income: $72,231
With some of the most affordable housing and a low number of employed residents living below the poverty line, Overland Park ranks No. 2 overall.

1. Plano, Texas

Employment growth: 3.51%
Median annual income: $83,697
Boasting the most affordable housing and the highest number of full-time employees, Plano comes in at No. 1, according to WalletHub. Its high median-annual income and great family atmosphere also helped this Texas city land the top spot.


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