Employers across the U.S. have more than 7 million unfilled jobs, a record high, as they compete for talent amid a tight labor market. But job-hunting success can often depend on the local employment market, according to employment site Glassdoor.
Job hunters may want to focus on 25 cities that Glassdoor says offer the best chances for finding new professional opportunities while also providing a reasonable cost of living. It ranked the 25 best cities for finding a new job based on three metrics: ease in finding a position, the city's affordability and job satisfaction among professionals who work there.
Several of the top cities are in the Midwest or Rust Belt, where housing is considerably cheaper than bigger coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles. In fact, neither of those cities made the list because of their high cost of living, Glassdoor said.
After crunching the data, it found the top market for jobs is Pittsburgh, the one-time steel city that's now undergoing a revival, thanks to health care and tech employment.
"The popularity of many major metropolitan hubs might be overshadowing the potential benefits of several midsize cities like Pittsburgh and Indianapolis," said Glassdoor Economic Research Analyst Amanda Stansell in a statement.
"While several of the cities highlighted in this report might fly under the radar," she said, "many are experiencing booming local economies, complete with a healthy dose of new job prospects and strong home affordability."
Pittsburgh offers more than 91,000 job openings, while the median base salary is $46,500. Even though it has fewer job openings and lower wages than Boston (No. 6 on Glassdoor's list), Pittsburgh's median home value stands at $141,300, compared with more than $455,000 for Boston.
Google and other tech companies have set up hubs in Pittsburgh, fueled by graduates of Carnegie Mellon and other local universities. In addition, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is one of the region's biggest employers. Pittsburgh is also among Amazon's 20 final candidates for its second headquarters location.
Even so, fewer Americans are willing to uproot themselves for work than in previous decades. During the past 10 years, 11 percent of job seekers relocated versus nearly 19 percent who moved to greener employment pastures in the prior decade,to executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
College students and professionals who are willing to move might use Glassdoor's list as a resource for finding a new job, said Sarah Stoddard, the site's community expert.
"You may find the job you're looking for in a place that doesn't come with as steep a price tag, if that's something you consider a priority throughout your job search," Stoddard said.
Here are Glassdoor's top 25 cities for job seekers:
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Detroit, Michigan
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Washington, D.C.
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Chicago, Illinois
- Columbus, Ohio
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Richmond, Virginia
- Charlotte, North Carolina