Americans are known for picking up and moving to big cities in search of better opportunities. Today, however, some of the best employment opportunities around the U.S. can be found in the country's smaller cities.
What makes a city a good location for job seekers? It's a combination of how easy it is to find a job, how affordable the location is, and how satisfied workers are at their employers, according to a new study from employment site Glassdoor. The cities tend to break down into two types: midsized, fast-growing tech magnets, and former industrial cities that have transformed into service economies, said Glassdoor economist Andrew Chamberlain.
"What I think is so fascinating about this report is peoples' perceptions about what's a good place to live and work haven't kept up with the huge changes we've seen in the U.S. in the last 15 to 20 years," Chamberlain said. "A lot of midsized cities offer good economic value, but they still have branding problems."
Job-related issues, such as looking for new employment, prompted almost 20 percent of the 35.9 million moves by Americans from 2012 to 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For Americans considering job hunting in a new city, data on job and affordability trends can help raise awareness of opportunities in cities beyond the biggest urban hubs, which aren't necessarily the most vibrant labor markets.
So why didn't the country's biggest cities, including Los Angeles and New York, make the cut? While incomes tend to be higher in such cities, the cost of living has skyrocketed at a far faster pace, making affordability a problem for many residents and job-seekers.