With graduates heading out into the world and searching for their first jobs, it may be worth considering which cities offer the biggest number of employers hanging out "help wanted" signs.
That's especially true given the tough environment facing recent grads, who are entering the work force when the economy is still sputtering and opportunities can seem slim. On top of that, there's fierce competition for those coveted jobs, given the unemployment rate for people 20 to 24 years old is 11.1 percent, or more than double the 5.2 percent rate for workers older than 25.
So which cities offer the greatest number of employers that have job openings? Many of them are the country's biggest cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles, according to an analysis by employment site Glassdoor.com.
Focusing a job search in a city that's packed with hiring companies may make strategic sense, but with a caveat, notes Scott Dobroski of Glassdoor. Job seekers "should consider the number of employers hiring, because they know this is where they have the most opportunity to get their resumes noticed," he said. "But there is also most likely more competition because of the size of the market."
Glassdoor's analysis also included some surprises, such as one Southern city that made the list of the top 10 cities with hiring companies, but which is ranked only 40th in the country by population.
Read on to find out more.
1. New York, New York
The nation's most populous city is also the most packed when it comes to companies seeking new hires, Glassdoor found. More than 13,330 employers are looking for fresh talent. One caveat was that many employees cited long hours. "We didn't find that work/life balance was touted very highly," Dobroski said.
2. Chicago, Illinois
The third-largest U.S city ranked second in Glassdoor's research, with 9,342 employers looking to hire. Companies given high marks by employees include travel company Orbitz, public relations firm Edelman, and technology firm CDW.
3. Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels, the second most populous U.S. city, offers 9,250 companies that are hiring, trailing New York and Chicago, Glassdoor.com found. Not surprisingly, given the city's Hollywood roots, two of the most highly rated employers are in the media industry: Sony Pictures Entertainment and Disney Parks & Resorts. University of Southern California was the highest-ranked employer by employees.
4. Washington, D.C.
The country's capital is ranked only 23rd in terms of population, but the city is in fourth place for the number of employers looking for new hires. More than 8,650 companies have job openings. The most highly ranked employers include American University, George Mason University and the National Institutes of Health.
5. San Francisco, California
With 7,632 companies seeking to hire new employees, this city ranked in fifth place in Glassdoor's study. Home to the booming tech industry, the most in-demand jobs in San Francisco include software engineer, business analyst and recruiter. The top-ranked employers in the country's 14th largest city include social-media site Twitter, tech firm Riverbed Technology, and biotech company Genentech.
6. Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas
More than 7,260 employers are hiring in the Dallas-Forth Worth region, where employees give high marks to companies including Southwest Airlines and Texas Instruments. Dallas ranks as the country's ninth-largest city, while Fort Worth is the 17th biggest by population.
7. Boston, Massachusetts
In Boston, 7,170 employers are seeking to hire, Glassdoor.com found. The top-rated employer in the 24th largest U.S. city by population is MIT, the science-focused university. Other top-rated employers include tech company HubSpot and research firm Forrester Research.
8. Atlanta, Georgia
While only 40th in the nation by population, this Southern city is ranked eighth for number of companies looking to hire, at 6,377. Employers with high rankings from employees include research university Georgia Tech, fast-food company Chick-fil-A and Delta Air Lines.
9. Houston, Texas
This Texas city, which is the nation's fourth most populous, offers 6,192 employers seeking fresh talent. Among its top-rated employers are energy company ExxonMobil and oil service companies Cameron International and Schlumberger.
10. Philadelphia, Pa.
The fifth most populous U.S. city offers 6,008 companies looking to hire new staff. Among the city's most highly rated employers are the University of Pennsylvania, technology company SAP and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.